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hit and miss
2 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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A good, hearty laugh
1 February 2006
Get passed the not-so-subtle parody moments (2001, Armageddon, Alien, etc...). This flick is a sure crowd pleaser. Not since Airplane! have I laughed so hard watching a spoof. Not since Hot Shots fine actors have done such a good job at playing low-key. As in other movies of the sort, the bigger gags tend to fall flat and it's the little jokes that get the louder laughs. Sure, the filmmakers show off a little with CG FX, but they never take themselves seriously. The whacked out humor never gets heavy and at times the writers even try themselves at cynicism and poetry without ever bloating their work. Always absurd, never disappointing.
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Mixed Nuts (1994)
Corny, oh so corny
28 January 2006
I have seen the French version a couple of times and can only tell you it's a heck of a lot funnier. a lot darker too I admit but that's what makes it funny (and boy it is FUNNY). It has become something of a cult classic in France while its US counterpart has been rightfully so forgotten.

Steve Martin and Adam Sandler are two fine actors but served with so many dumb lines they hardly act above average.

The bigger problem here is that by making a dark humor tale into a feel-good movie most of the jokes fall flat. There's nothing wrong with remakes ('True lies' is s fine example) but squeezing the juice out of a screenplay in order to get a broader audience is just plain wrong.

Go check out the French version.
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