French Fried Vacation 3: Friends Forever (2006) Poster

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3/10
hit and miss
paul-15812 February 2006
The idea of reuniting these infamous fellows was not necessarily a good one. Sure, they made us laugh a good deal 25 years ago with their precise and exquisite sense of humor. Sure, their portrayal of the bigger segment of French society was dead-on. Of course, their bad manners and mean-spirited friendships contributed to propel them to stardom. But the very reasons why we enjoyed watching their mediocrity was that they weren't stars. They were a quasi-unknown bunch on the margin of French culture. They were successful because they distanced themselves from both bourgeois mentality and the counter-culture allowing for their insolent brains to come up with such familiar characters. That was last century. And between the late seventies and 2006, they've grown to be the very establishment of mainstream French comedy, something that hardly makes for good, right-on insolence.

So the movie feels at times nostalgic but always superficial. As if the actors had become the characters and in the process had lost the necessary distance to make us laugh.
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1/10
unbelievably bad
jotd30 August 2006
I'm a huge fan of Le Splendid, I have seen Les Bronzés, Les Bronzés font du ski and Le Père Noël a million times and I know most of the dialogues by heart. Every time I look at those movies I still laugh.

On the other hand, this one is really THE PITS!!. The jokes are not even funny and ultra-conventional, or just gross. Christian Clavier is the worst, and worse than ever here. Now I really hate him. There are no original punch lines at all, and when they try to reference the prequels, this is a disaster. It looks like a mix between "La soif de l'or" and "Les Charlots font l'Espagne". If you are a great fan of "Le Splendid", watching this movie will make you sorry for them. If you don't like "The Splendid", that's definitely the movie that will make you hate them even more. If you can borrow the DVD, don't do it. Avoid at all costs.
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2/10
So sad to see this sequels
pangias24 June 2006
With my blonde we watched, les Bronzes 1 and 2, we had a lot of fun, and for myself a bit of nostalgia, so we went to see les bronzes 3 last night.

At the beginning, we were happy to see such iconic characters, but after a third of the movie, we saw it was pointless.

The plot line is very mediocre, the character have not evolved, they truly lost the magic touch of their youth.

I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone even on DVD.

Craps. And, i'm French, i'm fan of the early splendid, it's not a question of cultural divide between french and other country, this movie is pure crap, written by talented people, but without inspiration.
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1/10
very bad
nicolas-vp15 March 2006
oh god this is a bad movie. there are only 2 good laughs, and they're cheap.

that's to few for a comedy. i was expecting a lot from Les Bronzés 3, since the members of the splendid are the best comedy writers and actors in France for the last 30 years.

nowadays, their time has gone.

The funny characters (Jean Claude dusse) are not funny anymore. The loser has become a semi loser/semi winner and he's to aware of his own attitude to be funny. he's a spectator like us, not an actor.

too bad.

Thierry Lhermitte has problems with his wife, as always. but this time it is not funny, it's dramatic. what the hell are they trying to do? a romantic comedy? a drama? 0/10
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6/10
not bad but disappointing for old fans
Kassdhal21 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have very mixed feeling for this movie. I am, like many Frenchmen of my generation, in complete adoration for the first three movies the band has made (Les Bronzes, Les Bronzes font du ski, Le pere Noel est une ordure).

Thus, I was expecting this movie to make me laugh as much as these "big" three.

The result is disappointing, without being able to differentiate between the objective assessment of the movie and the - excessive? - expectations I had. I may have been deceived because I was expecting too much, regardless of the movie where, As usual Lhermitte is great.

I find the part of Dominique Lavanant too incredible and it hurts the whole movie who could have been much better without this.

As a whole a better than average movie that could only deceive the fans of the first "big three".

Asn to address the point, it seems to me that the movie is too french, too full of enjoyable political incorrectness and of references to be even understood to the minimum level by a non french-speaker
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4/10
French Fried Vacation: Flawed Forever...
ElMaruecan8214 January 2017
The third opus of the forever-flawed "French Fried Vacation" trilogy has a subtitle: it is "Friends Forever" well I suppose that doesn't include the audience. Am I funny? No, I just put myself on the film's level. It is not just bad but embarrassingly bad. It's the kind of movies that don't just make you notice how bad they are, but make you angry, because it ruined a legacy.

Now, whenever you'd have to say how great the first one in the African resort and the second in the mountains were great, you'd have to add that the third one was terrible. The same thing happened a few years ago with that dreadful "Visitors" sequel, the kind of experience where you leave the film thinking "Is there such a shortage of good writers that this is the best they could come up with?" And speaking of "Visitors", it is interesting because five years had passed till they made the sequel but given how spectacularly awful it was, you would have thought it was two decades.

"French Fried Vacation 3" was made 27 years after: on that level, it felt like an eternity, because you'd better believe only the cruel passing of time can make you go from fun, wit and modern relevance to plain mediocrity. It is sad, sad to see characters that defined the new face of French comedy being such hacks. They used to play relatively unlikable persons, but they did it with fun, warmth and a special ingredient that always earned our empathy, in the third, they're unlikable people played in an unlikable way. The same characters are here, they have money, problems but the heart isn't in it.

The handsome womanizer and goofy loser Popeye (Thierry Lhermitte) lost its touch with the ladies but being the tallest can pass as "good looks". The greatest blasphemy was when the ultimate loser Jean-Claude Dus (Michel Blanc) turns to a cheerful successful businessman specialized in wigs and the boyfriend of Gigi (Marie-Anne Chazel) who's just had breast implants. She's given so little plot substance that I reconsidered the breast thing as the perfect distraction from her dullness. Bernard and Nathalie, the couple of average Joes played by Gérard Jugnot and Josiane Balaso are the same: as dysfunctional as ever, but these times, they don't have youth as an excuse, they immediately get on our nerves. The same with divorced Jerome (Christian Clavier) wandering all through the film, Clavier is the most successful French comedian but he's not very comfortable as "one of six" anymore.

The rest of the cast are here: Martin Lamotte, Dominique Lavanant and Bruno Moynot, but you can take any ten minutes from the first two movies and they'll provide more genuine laughs than the whole of "Friends Forever". The film is a pointless series of "things happening for the sake of a gag". Worse, there's a degree of self-consciousness that makes it even more irritating. It's like they knew this was going to be a hit and the actors tried to make an artificial cult classic out of that certitude, by injecting some one-liners that feel totally artificial. Sometimes, you can almost hear a beat after a line, as if it's telling you that it's a joke, and it is supposed to make you laugh. Some lines are delivered with the sole intent of entering the half of fame of classic French quotes in the same vein that "I will conclude". But it lamentably fails.

The only thing the film got right is that it was going to be a commercial success, but what a splendid irony that one of the box-office champs of the last decade, garnering thrice more viewers than the first two put together was instantly disliked by everyone. It is a commercial success and a critical fail, people of all generations love "French Fried Vacation", whether they watched it in the theaters or grew up with and could recite them line by line, so they heightened their expectations when they saw that all the actors (even the director Patrice Leconte) were back on the road. If anything, the film worked because of the first two, but it didn't have the decency to return the compliment by respecting their "spirit". But could it really?

I said in previous reviews that the real trilogy ended with "Santa Claus is a Bastard", and one can even see a tetralogy with "Papy Fait de la Résistance". The Splendid Troop refreshed the air of French cinema in the 70's by making vulgar crass comedies with endearing and likable schmucks or losers, people the population could relate to. The torch was passed between the stage theater heritage of Bourvil and Fernandel and the aging Louis de Funès to the younger generation. Old school movies were getting lamer, a bit childish although not deprived of charm but the baby boomers gave French comedy a flavor that defined the 80's and 90's. And maybe what "Friends Forever" says is that they're now in the same position than those they dethroned, they lost their touch.

Each time defined a new 'vis comica'. And obviously, our favorite vacationers lost the touch with their era and didn't make enough an impact in that film. There were a few good scenes here and there but they never left an enduring impression, Bernard's son announces his homosexuality and then disappears, his father's reaction is hilarious until it turns into a ridiculous visual stroke. When a film must resort to slapstick and cheap gags involving dead dogs, big breasts, and botox lips exploding in a plane, you know this is not good.

But it is quite fitting that the film deals with plastic surgery, it feels like they really implanted what they thought would be good gags and funny jokes, but it really feels like botched surgery. It is a film of artificial and plastic ugliness
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2/10
Way too different from the originals
alexinou23 October 2006
This comment does not contain spoilers.

So, 3rd installment of the holidays of the "Bronzés" (the "sun tanned" in French). Boy, am I glad I did not buy the DVD. And do I feel sorry for the friend who did.

Anyway, 27 years after the previous 2 movies (Les Bronzés, 1978, tt0077276 on IMDb and Les Bronzés font du ski, 1979, tt0078907 on IMDb, both excellent comedies), the characters all get back together again. They are the same, played by the same actors. The comedy, unfortunately, is not the same.

The first 2 movies relied on well too known situations to anyone in France (or in Europe) going on holiday. If you have been on holiday skiing or to the seaside, you have LIVED what the previous 2 movies depicted. They both were very, very good at pointing all these defects we have, all these little things that can go wrong, all these little stupid reactions you have because you just can't help it. And they felt so true. The characters were mean, greedy, selfish, jealous, stupid, you name it. But somehow, they were endearing, you felt like you knew them, because you had gone through the same. Everything felt so familiar.

All this is exactly what all of us, who had seen the first 2 and were waiting for the 3rd one, were expecting.

And all this, is precisely what this 3rd movie is not. This movie has nothing to do with you, nothing to do with me, nothing to do with your holidays and how they can look or feel like. This movie mostly relies on obvious, exaggerated jokes. If you see some mildly comic effect at the beginning, you know it will be repeated over and over beyond the limits of your patience. You might come to identify with some of the characters: when they don't want to hear about one of their "friend's" problem, you will think, just like them, "just leave us alone and shut up, I don't want to hear about it anymore!!!"

About half way through it (well I was hoping a good 90 minutes had passed already and that the end was near, but my watch, the traitor, told me there was still quite a lot to bear), after so much screaming and so much of the same over and over again, I just wished it would finish QUICK !!!

Don't waste your time nor your good memories of the old films. No, seriously. Don't.
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7/10
Better than the first, less better than the second
Avwillfan891 June 2012
I have no idea why people bash this movie so harshly. It is of course different from the first two films because it's set 27 years later and naturally things have changed.

I think it's necessary to clear the air a bit on the problems people have with this movie: First off, people complained that at the time of the first two movies, all the actors were unknowns, now that they are all famous, people don't like it anymore. I think it was a good idea to bring all the original actors together and of course it's great to see the same characters again.

The second complaint was that this film isn't funny. I, for one, did not find the original Bronzés film to be funny at all. There was no story line, no interesting sub plots and uninteresting and despicable characters. The sexist and racist portrayals (at the time) looked like something taken out of The Deer Hunter and played out for a comedy.

The second one, however, is totally different. The group go skiing, and like in the first one, it involves tourist activities led by Popeye. In this film, everything is vastly improved and the main characters are more developed. Jérome settles for Gigi, while the rest stay in the same situations. During the second half, they get lost in the snowy wilderness. In the scene where they drink the infamous "liqueur d'échalottes", I almost cracked a rib from laughing so hard.

Les Bronzés 3 is a combination of the two: The same setting as the first and the quality humor of the second. Another good thing is that the cinematography is beautiful and the subplot involving the "beast" is brilliant.

It's a sequel, not as good as the previous one, but good all the same. Don't be put off by all the bad reviews people have given it, because it really isn't that bad.
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1/10
The one who directed this crap should be guillotined
patrick-green20 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Once again, an awful sequel to two brilliant films. I did not laugh once throughout the movie, the funny stuff consisted entirely of people arguing, shouting, being hateful, being capitalist pigs with stupid, ugly dogs et voilà!!!!! Christian Clavier was pathetic in this one, he seems to have lost all of his comic talent since Les Visiteurs so he does not manage to pull the movie out of the Abyss of Desperate Horrible Films(where this whole piece of Camembert cheese belongs). Et bien voilà mes amis, this is a horrible film, do not watch it. Things I learned From this Movie: Plums have medicinal values, yet do not cure cheesiness in a movie.

Capitalist German hags are sadistic, cruel and brutal to their pets.

Gérard Jugnot loathes gay men and occasionally Josiane Balasco.
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2/10
exactly what the catch phrase says: the same in worse
dbdumonteil11 February 2007
My close relatives and friends know that Patrice Leconte has a prominent place in my straitjacket of favorite French filmmakers. I must profess that treasures like "Tandem" (1987), "le Mari De la Coiffeuse" (1990) or "l'Homme Du Train" (2002) were pure cinematographic delights in my eyes. But in counterpart, I don't go much for the "Bronzés" saga which is supposed to be a satirical mirror of the average Frenchman. I have always deemed it as vulgar, crass and it's really a shame that in France, for many French viewers, the name of Patrice Leconte remains associated with this cult series (for those who love it). There's so much to discover beyond it like the three gems aforementioned.

The first two chapters were shot in 1978 and in 1979. After that, a big proportion of viewers expected another installment. And so, Patrice Leconte and his gang of well-known French actors agreed to make a third episode. Of course, the whole crew was elated at the idea to work all together again like the good old days and I can understand(while not sharing it) the enthusiasm of many fans. "Les Bronzés 3: Amis pour la vie" was perhaps the most anticipated film of 2006.

I haven't got fond memories of the first two episodes and I won't warm to the series with this third one. My estimation about it is a juxtaposition of sketches hardly dovetailed without a true unifying thread. In the middle of the film, comes a two-bit subplot whose main function is filler. Some old clichés have been seen so many time before like Bernard Morin's son who announces to his father that he's gay and of course, his father isn't prepared to accept this. Most comical effects often fall flat and are rarely efficient.

Even Patrice Leconte's input in the project is absent and he doesn't seem to care about it. The actors give us their little acts but that's all. All in all, many fans of the first two films will be delighted to see these reunions and won't be hampered by the fact that the film isn't a model of cinematographic writing and this film by Patrice Leconte and his men is for them. But if some of them are curious to see what there is beyond this new trilogy (unless a fourth episode is on the way) in Leconte's filmography, I strongly advise them to watch the works I quoted in my first paragraph.
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8/10
Excellent finish for a trilogy!
whousseaux30 June 2006
Well, after waiting more than 27 years, the third installment is very funny! Seeing all these actors playing the same roles is simply amazing!!! Fast pace, quick jokes, well, I really loved it! This movie had budget in comparison with the two other movies, and it shows! After seeing it, Bronzes 1 & 2 were simply "B-Serie" funny movies. Christian Clavier simply steals the show! Michel Blanc is completely transformed and funnier than previous movies. And let's not forget a great play from couple Balasko/Jugnot. They are unbelievable!!! Whatever the critics said, I had fun watching it and I am sure that all actors had fun making the movie!!! Period! Enjoy it!
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7/10
In Keeping with the Series - 3 amis, bronzés pour la vie........
nicholas.rhodes13 March 2011
Although this film actually came out in 2006, I have just now got round to seeing it. I remember at the time when it came out, many people were complaining that it was not as good as the original two films. In fact, the film is a reasonally praiseworthy successor to the other two and notably to the first one which, if I am not mistaken, takes place in Senegal. In fact, I found the second film, which takes place in the snow, decidedly more boring than the first. This third effort, manifestly made on the island of Sardinia, is more in keeping with the first original. The difference is that at the time of the original film, the morals of the film were a shock to the public. Today, the morals of the film remain the same, but public moral standards have declined so much (in my opinion) so that the film's morals do not shock any more and the film is therefore a disappointment to those who were expecting something even more "outré". I hasten to add that I in no way identify with the morals of this film - notably on the subject of infidelity which I find horrifying but I try to regard the whole film as something not to be taken seriously. The humor of the film is an extension of "Le Père Noël est Une Ordure" with the same gestuals and expressions, and it is easy to enjoy the performances of actors one has known for many years. The humour is (a) typically French and (b) within that domain, at the bottom end of the scale of finesse and subtlety, i.e. it is light years away from the likes of Fernandel, Bourvil, de Funès, Richard/Depardieu et alia. But there are some original touches and real comedic talent - I do like Martin Lamotte/Dominique Lavanant, and Thierry Lhermitte, and have a lot of admiration of Jugnot, though his rôle here is really not one of his best. However I am clavier-allergic, and I imagine many other people are too - they guy is just unbearable whatever the part he takes - and Marie-Anne Chazel is reasonably funny but not a ball ! On the other hand I do have soft spot for Michel Blanc with his pseudo-American expressions, and I have always found this actor to have a lot of talent which could be better used in other circumstances. Picture quality wise, the film is abysmal - everything seems overly yellow and it is a real shame that such a beautiful setting as Sardinia could not have been filmed in natural colors. I also mention the low audio quality and whilst liking the title song, would have preferred it to be sung in Italian rather than Spanish - there is something that defies all logic here but I can only conclude that the film director was under the misapprehension that the island of Sardinia was part of Spain !!
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10/10
Renews the Bronzes franchise
Davido-212 February 2006
The Bronzes return to the "Club Med" setting of the first episode but I felt that the script was a lot tighter for this outing than the two previous films and they even managed a good, if somewhat implausible, ending. Okay, some of the jokes are familiar but the film is funny and entertaining.

For anyone not familiar with the plot, and that probably included the majority of 14 year olds in the audience, the scenario is all too familiar. A group meet on a "holiday camp" and agree to keep in touch as we probably all have done. In reality they have little in common to bind their friendship. This sequel brings them back after 27 years apart - following a somewhat disaster prone holiday in Val d'Isere.

This film certainly renews the franchise and I for one wouldn't be surprised by a no.4 - but where to set it?
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7/10
Good French comedy, more formulaic than moving but ...fine!
stuka244 January 2009
If you liked films like "camping", this will make you laugh too!

Look beyond the "funny, great actors and nice landscapes" label and you'll see a mosaic of different personalities (or shall we say "personality disorders":)? Anyway, the casting is great, the musical theme is always there to cheer us up, and the plot is complex enough that can withstand watching it again after a couple of years and still discover new meanings, let alone other jokes.

Leconte made films as diverse as the masterful "Ridicule" (1996) and "Veuve de Saint-Pierre, La" (2000), which proves he can basically direct anything! One of his last oeuvres, "Mon meilleur ami" has the same "perfectly crafted but light" touch, but I think Bronzés 3 at least is more human, less politically correct. And it doesn't try to convey any "meaning".

Christian Clavier already showed us in "Vengeance d'une blonde, La" that he can have a film turn round him. In this case it's a bit less obvious, but even when he's not to blame, one is almost expecting "what he'll do next"! He's great as a likable troubled misfit, making us wiser by looking at his misery, tics and stubbornness.

This is a film on hearing, or the lack of communication. Since the beginning, when Jérôme Tarayre greets Thierry Lhermitte as "Popeye" even when he clearly says "Robert!", everybody has their own problems and couldn't care less for anybody else. Robert "Popeye" Lespinasse is no less tragic than Jérôme, he's only wealthier and more handsome. Ornella Muti is a bit of a disappointment. She doesn't act very well, and her looks are, to my dismay, not as stunning as they used to be. Gisèle 'Gigi' André is fine as the stupid blonde a bit overdue but nevertheless charming as a stereotype :). Funny to have learned she's the wife of Clavier in real life!

Josiane Balasko is cool as usual. I feel her talents are a bit underused here. Arthur Jugnot, who plays his husband, is quite better developed. Just when you forget about this eternal complainer, he pops up. Balasko has one of the best phrases: "Stop that circus!".

The IMDb message board on "L'allemande's dog" reveals just one of the great jokes that you may have missed.

Michel Blanc is obviously one of the best comedians around. This guy is afraid of nothing to make us laugh! After his Denis in "Marche à l'ombre" (1984), he doesn't stop surprising us. 'Jessie la Mèche', the way he mixes some English words, his wigs, "Putain d'Europe!"..

The mute groom, the beautiful cook Popeye tapes when she says her dream to him "cuisses", the captain Giuseppe's stern "tojour morte, merci", the unionized lobster thief...all secondary characters are superb!

I'm glad to read that a IMDb message board thread is "Quel est votre bronzé préferé?". This film deserves its "cult following".

I'll go to sleep listening to "baila" from Zucchero. Not bad for a "simple" comedy!

PS: The scenery is beautiful, yes. I had the luck of watching it on a THX cinema so now on TV5 I can remember the experience.
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