Tag: comedy

Micmacs à tire-larigot, 2009

Micmacs à tire-larigot, or Micmacs as it’s known in the English-speaking world, is a whimsical movie centering on the story of a man named Bazil (Dany Boon) whose father is killed in Africa and who is later accidentally shot in the head. Now stricken with a disability, Bazil finds he has lost his job, his apartment and his possessions, all of which were taken while he was in the hospital.

Bazil eventually finds and joins up with a group of odd characters who live as a family in a house built within a junkyard. They are all unusual people with peculiar talents, like Calculator (Marie-Julie Baup) a mathematical savant, Buster (Dominique Pinon) a world record holding human cannonball, Tiny Pete (Michel Crémadès) who creates artistic, moving sculptures, and Elastic Girl (Julie Ferrier) an extremely flexible contortionist, as well as a few others with similar remarkable, if odd, talents.

They welcome Bazil, who finds evidence that a giant French arms company supplied the device that killed his father, and that another enormous French arms company manufactured the bullet lodged in his head. It is decided that the group will exact revenge on the two CEOs of these companies on Bazil’s behalf. It is then the shenanigans begin with a complicated plot of revenge designed to annoy, economically damage, and otherwise cause trouble for the two CEOs and their respective companies.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet returns to the film world several years after his last offering, creating a delightful film, Micmacs, which is full of whimsy, imagination, and love. Like all of his other works, immense effort is put into the color and styling of the production lending it a delicate beauty; it’s almost as though he transforms his films from motion pictures into motion paintings. Superb acting and a witty, original storyline, allow Jeunet to direct this cinematic gem with what has become his trademark level of quality. While it is an admitted bias on my part as a devoted fan of Jeunet’s work, Micmacs is still a movie that can come with the strongest recommendations to viewers who like a bit of whimsy, accompanied by surreal and intense visual effects. The film is a delight and filled with the shenanigans to which the title refers.

Le Battement d’ailes du papillon, 2000

Writer/director Laurent Firode‘s 2000 film Happenstance (Le Battement d’ailes du papillon) is a fabulous French-language romantic comedy starring Audrey Tautou, one of my favorite actresses, as Irene, the leading character. It is a romantic comedy that uses its simplicity to showcase the elements of Chaos Theory or the Butterfly Effect, where one action leads to a series of progressively larger actions so that, for example a butterfly in Indonesia can cause a hurricane in Florida.

Elf, 2003

Elf is a wholesome holiday comedy that tells us the story of a human raised by elves at the North Pole.   Buddy, skillfully played by Will Ferrell, is mistakenly brought back to the workshop after crawling into Santa’s toy bag.  He is adopted by Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) and raised like an elf until he discovers that he’s actually a human.

Along Came Polly, 2004

Along Came Polly is the most recent film in Hollywood’s long tradition of cookie-cutter plots.  Reuben Feffer, portrayed by Ben Stiller in a rather mediocre performance, lives a comfortable, if cautious life where his professional efforts are so focused on the prevention of any type of risky behavior that he lives a very quiet and very carefully planned life.