[Film Review] The Visitors (1993)

The Visitors poster

English Title: The Visitors
Original Title: Les visiteurs
Year: 1993
Country: France
Language: French, English
Genre: Comedy
Director: Jean-Marie Poiré
Writers: Christian Clavier, Jean-Marie Poiré
Music: Eric Levi
Cinematography: Jean-Yves Le Mener
Christian Clavier
Jean Reno
Valerie Lemercier
Marie-Anne Chazel
Christian Bujeau
Isabelle Nanty
Gerard Sety
Didier Pain
Jean-Paul Muel
Pierre Vial
Tara Gano
Anna Gaylor
Rating: 5.7/10

I am not keen to French comedies, maybe a prejudice, whenever in a slapstick comedy, the usual gentle and romantic French sounds a bit vulgar and harsh to me (I don’t speak French though), also due to a cultural barrier, my understanding usually is biased or in sheer ignorance of the dialogues or local allusions.

There is a common topic why good comedies are always much more difficult to find than decent and touching dramas, suddenly the answer jumped into my mind, which is in most of people’s lives, comedic element only occurs sporadically, major quantity of our time is spent in a drama way which we could feel the appeal from the motion pictures, thus, if we encounter a film totally composed of farces and gags, a sense of out of touch from the reality will slowly kill our patience, hence a usual ending is we completely lost all the interest towards the characters in the film provided its jokes and actions fall into cliché and self-regarded humor. Which is my exact feeling towards the film.

I cannot call it a bad film, it entertained me in the first half, then I wished the farce could be ended ASAP (accurately speaking, after the two visitors made a mess in the house of the youngling), Jean Reno’s poker face performance is far more enjoyable than Christian Clavier’s Joe Pesci-sque monkey business (I cannot squeeze any smile towards him), the last straw is Valerie Lemercier’s natural and authentic charm, I cannot believe she was only 29 at that time as I can recall in LITTLE NICHOLAS (2009), she seems to hasn’t aged in almost 16 years (a more plausible explanation may be premature senility), I think she is a very qualified comedian.


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