Watch Foutaises

  • 1989
  • 7.6  (2,315)

Foutaises, also known as "La vie est un long fleuve tranquille" in French, is a 1989 comedy film directed by ìČtienne Chatiliez. The film stars Dominique Pinon as Michel, Chick Ortega as Gérard, and Marie-Laure Dougnac as Martine. The film opens with Michel monologuing about the small, mundane things in life that bring him joy - like the sound of a spoon clinking against a coffee cup. As he's walking down the street, he bumps into Gérard, an old friend from high school. Gérard is a used car salesman who's always trying to sell Michel a car. Michel politely declines, but Gérard insists on showing him his latest acquisition - a bright red sports car. Michel humors him and takes the car for a test drive.

From here, the film becomes a series of vignettes that are either funny, bizarre, or both. Michel meets a woman who puts her earrings on the counter of the bathroom at a fancy restaurant, only to have them fall down the drain. He helps a therapist who's trying to jumpstart his car, but only succeeds in electrocuting himself. He inadvertently joins a group of protestors in front of a movie theater, but has no idea what they're protesting. He meets a homeless man who gives him a bottle of wine, which he shares with Gérard.

These scenes are interspersed with shots of Michel walking down the street or sitting on a bench, monologuing about life, love, and the absurdity of it all. The film takes place over the course of a single day, and by the end, Michel seems to have come to some sort of realization about what's important in life.

The film has a whimsical, dreamlike quality to it. There's very little plot to speak of - it's more like a series of loosely connected sketches. The humor is mostly of the deadpan variety, with occasional moments of slapstick. At times, it feels a bit like a French version of "Seinfeld" - a show about nothing, where the humor comes from the characters' quirks and the odd situations they find themselves in.

The three main actors all give great performances. Dominique Pinon is especially good as Michel - he's charming and affable, and his monologues are both funny and thought-provoking. Chick Ortega is also great as Gérard, playing him as a lovable but slightly pushy friend who's always trying to rope Michel into some scheme or another. Marie-Laure Dougnac doesn't have as much screen time as the other two, but she's still excellent as Martine, a woman Michel meets later in the film.

One of the film's standout scenes involves Michel and Gérard trying to start the sports car after it breaks down in the middle of a field. They try seemingly everything to get the car running, from hitting it with a stick to chanting to it like it's a religious artifact. The scene is hilarious and absurd, but also oddly poignant - it's a reminder of how much people can invest in objects that ultimately don't matter.

Overall, Foutaises is an enjoyable and charming film that's perfect for anyone who enjoys a good quirky comedy. It doesn't have much of a plot, but that's not really the point - it's more about the characters and the small moments of everyday life that make it worth living. If you're in the mood for something light and whimsical, Foutaises is definitely worth checking out.

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    7.6  (2,315)