Written by: Jacques Tati (original screenplay, collaboration), Art Buchwald (additional English dialogue)
Directed by: Jacques Tati
Starring: Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek, Rita Maiden
My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!
Monseiur. Hulot wanders around lost a futuristic Paris with American tourists.
This movie had a lot of potential, but it doesn't capitalize. While it could be the jokes are lost in translation or over fifty year, why would you watch a movie that isn't that funny?
It's subtle to the point of boring and lacks a plot. Large swaths of the movie don't even contain the main character.
While I like this better than Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (read my review), that's not saying much. Maybe the well meaning oafish character was revolutionary at the time, but this relies on such subtle humor that's been run into the ground by today that it's completely boring.
One of the sequences, which had to have lasted thirty minutes or more, showcased a newly finish restaurant. The gag is that it's falling apart and not quite finished. There's confusion among waiters and bickering over reserved tables, but one of the big gags is the doorman touching wet paint. That's it. This isn't done in an over the top manner. This sequence doesn't even include the main character, who finally shows up late towards the end.
Why is the main character absent from much of the movie? Tati no longer liked the character and didn't really want to do another movie about Hulot. While it was a critical success, no one flocked to the theater to see this.
While the sight gags are intricate, they need to entertain as well.