Usually I’ll watch Amelie or Julie and Julia during Paris in July, but lately, I’ve been finding myself drawn to other comedic French films. I’m not quite sure what it is, but the plots tends to be more streamlined, the characters are more layered and developed. Plus, there is such a shortage of fluff and unnecessary drama, that you can really enjoy the story and characters. One recent film I watched was The Dinner Game, written and directed by Francis Verber. He’s also the mastermind behind La Cage Aux Folles (the Birdcage).
This is the basic plot summary for The Dinner Game:
Every Wednesday night, wealthy editor Pierre Brochant and his friends host what they call their “un dîner de cons”, the Idiot Dinner Party. Meaning, each person brings a guest that they have deemed to be a real idiot, and they sit and make fun of these unsuspecting guests for the night, naming a winner at the end. Pierre is tipped to François Pignon who he invites as his guest. After a strange of turn of events, Pierre gets a healthy dose of karma as a series of unfortunate mishaps prevent the two from attending the dinner. First, Brochant throws out his back, then his wife leaves him. When Pignon tries to intervene and help…well, that’s where things get hilariously messy.
I had the movie on in French with English subtitles. For the most part, the movie took place entirely in Monsieur Brochant’s apartment living room (and what a view of the Eiffel Tower you could spy from the windows!). My husband was half paying attention, but the movie kept distracting him from his work and he’d crack up laughing with me. I felt so bad for how badly Pierre would make fun or insult Monsieur Pignon, but in the end, I couldn’t help but feel some sympathy for Pierre as well. Although he’s by far the jerk of the movie, things just slip out of his control so quickly one can’t help but feel bad for the guy who just wants to find his wife. Even though the movie is from 1998, it’s a timeless film. To be honest, I thought it took place in this decade, despite the glimpses of the rather outdated cell phones and car phones. Every actor in this movie was unknown to me, and I really liked that. No expectation, just pure enjoyment. I hope someone else takes a chance on this movie as well and can tell me what they think of it.
© 2015 by Nari of The Novel World. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld This was originally posted on The Novel World on 7/14/2015