A French political comedy written by a woman who ought to know her subject, as she used to be a minister in the government after first having been a screenwriter (ANTOINE AND ANTOINETTE, 1947). Girardot is a young purse snatcher who steals the purse of Deneuve. It might just be an
ordinary street crime except that the bag contained a letter written to her, many years before, by the man who is now the president of the Republic. Deneuve and the president, Trintignant, were once lovers. When she became pregnant, she left for the US and there had a son, of whose existence
Trintignant is unaware. Trintignant is in a bad marriage with Winter, who admits that she wouldn't stay with him if he ever lost his post as the country's leader. Deneuve comes to Trintignant to tell him what's happened, and she introduces him to their 10-year-old son. The effect is both
frightening and exhilarating for the president, who takes the boy and Deneuve to his Versailles palace by helicopter and tries to keep them hidden until the missing letter can be located. Meanwhile, Girardot has a relationship with Auclair, a gay journalist who specializes in Palais watching and
would love to get the "beat" (which is what they call it our "scoop") on the other news hacks. Some funny and touching moments occur when Trintignant admits that he doesn't even know where the kitchen is in his own house. Another nice scene takes place when the boy loses his pet cat and the entire
security force at the estate must rake the grounds for the kitty. The letter is found at last, and Trintignant continues as president without his position's having been compromised. The major woe of this film is that it just isn't funny. Manners and morals take the place of real laughs, and
everyone postures and struts. It may be that French viewers, who might recognize the similarities between the actors' roles and real-life politicians, would find this more amusing than those on this side of the Atlantic. Without knowing who is being satirized, the comedy is inaccessible.
Politicians are not very funny (deliberately, that is!), and if Trintignant, minister Serrault, and the others are any example of the Gallic sense of humor, that country is in for dour times.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1984
- Rating: NR
- Review: A French political comedy written by a woman who ought to know her subject, as she used to be a minister in the government after first having been a screenwriter (ANTOINE AND ANTOINETTE, 1947). Girardot is a young purse snatcher who steals the purse of Den… (more)