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In French the word
comédien translates as actor, while comédie is, simply, comedy in English. With this linguistic link between the players and the comedy genre it's hardly surprising that the French are really good at cinema comedy. After all, it goes right back to the Lumière Brothers, the fathers of modern cinema.
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    Chic !

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    Quatre aventures de Reinette et Mirabelle


Paris Pieds Nus
Paris pieds nus
Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon are back, again playing Dom and Fiona in this latest burlesque comedy.

Unlike in La Fée (The Fairy), this time there isn't any fairy magic, other than the magic of the performance that this couple provide. This is vintage French comedy and might not be to everybody's taste. It's really quite mad at times.

We start off in Canada, with Fiona as a young girl saying goodbye to her aunt Martha, played by the late Emmanuelle Riva, who's off to Paris. Jump forward to the present day, and Fiona receives a letter from her aunt who has been threatened with being sent to an old-peoples' home. So Fiona sets off for Paris with her enormous red backpack adorned with the Canadian flag.

Having got the backpack stuck in the automatic barrier at a Metro station (been there, done that!) she eventually emerges in Paris looking completely out of place. The slapstick is soon on display with an amazing stunt whereby Fiona topples backwards off pont Rouelle while having her photo taken.

Dom is a homeless person who camps at the end of the Île aux Cygnes, by the Paris replica of the Statue of Liberty, his tent often being commandeered by a dog. Fiona is rescued from the river but loses her backpack, which Dom finds, dressing himself in one of Fiona's jumpers and treating himself with her cash. Happenstance of course brings them together, he following her everywhere while she desperately tries to find her aunt.

And so with a bit of time shifting that explains how each player arrives at the the situation they're in, we follow the bizarre goings on, including Dom giving the eulogy at the funeral of the wrong Martha and almost ending up being cremated with the coffin. The finale on top of the Eiffel Tower isn't for those, like me, who find heights a bit tummy churning.

I think it's fair to say that there aren't many films like this but I challenge you not to laugh.