What is the common point between the films “Untouchables” (2011) and “La Grande Vadrouille” (1966)? Besides the fact that they are both two great successes of French cinema, and that fifty years that separate them… both movieshave in common great humor and very well written scenarios.
The most appreciated type of humor in French cinema is the ‘comic of situation’. For example, “Le Diner de Cons” (1998) tells the story of a writer who every Wednesday finds his friends by having first invited a person with a very strange passion that is to make fun of him all along the dinner. At the end of it, they elect the “con” of the evening. But none of this is going to happen as planned …
Many films inspired by this process of comic situation will meet the same success, such as “Bienvenue chez les Chtis” (2008) which tells the story of a postman who is transferred despite himself in the north of France.
And there is still “Intouchables” (2011), which tells a story of incredible friendship between a young person from disadvantaged neighborhoods and a rich paraplegic.
However, humor is not always a good film, we must add an additional ingredient, to make a film a pure masterpiece. The acting game also helps to reinforce the comic used. The actor Louis de Funès was a specialist in this field as in “La grande Vadrouille” (1966), telling the story of two French who must help 3 British to reach the free zone during the occupation in 1942.
Also, to Through the film “Le gendarme de Saint Tropez” (1964), which is also played by Louis de Funès, we discover the story of a policeman who, after having performed a long service in his commune of the high Alps, is mutated in Saint-Tropez. However, many events will disturb his tranquility … His innate talent for cinema has allowed many films which he was the main actor to become cinematographic monuments.
Other, much more recent films have also had interplanetary successes, and here again, acting and comedy are not for nothing. But we must also add a second type of humor that the French adore and of which they are proud, the comic of words. This one is notably used in “Asterix and Obelix mission Cleopatre” (2002), telling the story of three Gauls who find themselves plunged in the Egyptian lands.
The film “Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au bon dieu? “ (2014) is also a reference in the field. It tells the story of a wealthy and Gaullist family, whose father must marry his four daughters to a Jew, a Muslim, a Chinese and an Ivorian.
Other films have also had a phenomenal success blending all the types of humor so far and an undeniable acting game. The typical example of the perfect film is of course “Les Bronzés font du ski” released in 1979, where we join a group of friends going skiing in the Alps for holidays. Through this work, we can find incomprehension and completely offbeat humor. This film received an exceptional welcome and continues today to make people laugh despite the generation gap. Today, he has become the reference in French comedy and several films are now close to it.
“Le Prénom” released in 2012 tells the story of a couple who wants to call his son Adolphe, but it is not unanimous. Here again, misunderstanding is at the rendezvous and it allows the viewer to imagine scenes and therefore to laugh before even the joke took place.
“Les Visiteurs”, released in 1993 is also inspired by this kind of comedy. The film tells the story of the account Godefroy de Montmirail which is inadvertently sent in the future. He is therefore looking for a way to return to his time …
To conclude, we can notice that there are several similarities between all these films. In particular, there is an acting game excellently made by exceptional actors and a scenario very well drawn to create laughter every moment. There are also several comics used to perfection and in the most daring moments. But it remains the essential, the French touch that stands out from the rest of world cinema, with its humor completely offbeat and crazy. The years pass but the films remain, many films have seen, see and will emerge while succeeding in marking the history of French cinema. They will remain engraved in time for the decades to come …