November – French Comedy

Thursday, November 1- CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

The Closet

2001 – France – Directed by Francis Veber

“The Closet is a bonbon spiked with mirth and malice. Daniel Auteuil, as good an actor as France has ever produced, stars as Francois, an accountant so dull that his wife has left him, his teenage son shuns him and his boss (the wonderful Jean Rochefort) is about to can him after twenty years. Francois contemplates suicide until a new neighbor (Michel Aumont) hatches a plan. Francois will pretend to be gay, forcing his boss to save his job for fear of a sex-discrimination suit. The comedy pivots on how everyone, including the firm’s homophobic personnel director (Gerard Depardieu), suddenly finds the gay Francois a figure of intense allure. Auteuil and Depardieu spar hilariously, and writer-director Francis Veber, following The Dinner Game, offers another delicious treat.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Wednesday, November 7 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

La Grand Vadrouille

1966 – France – Directed by Gérard Oury

“Prior to the arrival of Titanic in 1997, La Grande Vadrouille was France’s all-time box-office champion for three decades. In terms of French-language movies, it maintained the number one spot for even longer. It’s a tale of a trio of British paratroopers landing in occupied France in 1941 and having the locals aid their escape courtesy of various farcical misadventures…[It has] excellent production values and a gloss that is easily the equal of a classic Hollywood production from the studio era. More importantly, however, such capable hands prevent Oury from getting too caught up in such concerns. Rather he is able to focus more fully on the acting talent; after all, it is they who really make the film what it is. ” – Anthony Nield,

Thursday, November 15 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

The Names Of Love

2010 – France – Directed by Michel Leclerc

“The American romantic comedy has grown distressingly moribund lately, but anyone looking to freshen up the genre a bit need look no further than Michel Leclerc’s The Names Of Love. The French filmmaker fills the film with rom-com conventions—from a film-opening meet-cute to an unflappably quirky heroine—but puts them to work in the service of a story with more on its mind than whether two characters clearly meant to be together will hook up before the credits roll… The French title, Le Nom Des Gens, literally translates as “the names of people,” which doesn’t have the same poetic ring, but gives a better sense of the film’s concern with cultural identity. Leclerc is especially interested in what it means for a pair of, in one of the characters’ words, “half-breeds” to live in a France obsessed with origins and identity. the whimsy is balanced by the leads’ chemistry, and the deft sense of the way two people falling in love bring not just their own histories with them, but the histories of their families and the cultures and nations that molded them.” – Michel Leclerc

Wednesday, November 28 – CLO 110 @ 6:30pm

Welcome To The Sticks

2008 – France – Directed by Dany Boon

“Welcome to the Sticks is a breezy, likeable little comedy that’s somehow become the all-time champ of the French box-office: a total of 20 million admissions… [Philippe], a post-office manager from the sun-kissed south… is unwillingly relocated to the (real-life) small town of Bergues, near Dunkirk. This comes as bad news to his Riviera-besotted wife, Julie…, causing further frictions in what’s evidently a somewhat ‘tricky’ marriage. Philippe ventures north alone expecting the worst – but finds Bergues a picturesque little spot full of friendly locals such as postman Antoine. Adapting to the local lingo, food and customs takes time, but Philippe eventually fits right in…. All goes swimmingly enough – until Julie decides to experience the “horrors” of Bergues for herself…'” – Neil Young, JigsawLounge