The movie has some great moments in it, with a delightfully upbeat score by Vladimir Cosma. There’s nothing funnier than a great French comedy from the ’80s, and this is a good one.
The mother of a runaway teenager calls two former boyfriends to help her search for him, but lies to them both by telling them that they’re the father of the kid.
16 year-old Tristan (Stephane Bierry) runs off with a chick he met at a rock concert, leaving his mother and father (Anny Duperey and Michel Aumont) reeling in despair. They have no one to turn to; the police won’t help, and their skills at seeking the boy’s trail leads nowhere. The mother has an idea: she calls two of her former boyfriends whom she knew at the time when she met her husband and conceived her child, and she lies to them both that they are the real father of Tristan and that she needs their help to find him. Her call to Jean (Gerard Depardieu), a tough and wealthy bachelor journalist, doesn’t go the way she hopes, but because he has to go to Nice anyway on assignment – the place where the boy was last seen – he agrees to help. The second call is to manic depressive and severely suicidal Francois (Pierre Richard), who is delighted to help her, and when the paths of Jean and Francois hilariously collide, they realize that they’ve both been duped into helping their old girlfriend because no one else will. Instead of going their separate ways, though, they team up, leading to a misadventure involving not only their long-lost son, but a couple of gangsters who are out to kill Jean because of the assignment he’s on.
Later remade as the diluted and forgettable Father’s Day with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, Les Comperes is one of a handful of pairings for Depardieu and Richard, who made a great on-screen team. They also did Les Fugitives and La Chevre, both which also were remade in America as Three Fugitives and Pure Luck. Director Francis Veber did all three, and the movie has some great moments in it, with a delightfully upbeat score by Vladimir Cosma. There’s nothing funnier than a great French comedy from the ’80s, and this is a good one.
Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray edition of Les Comperes comes in a new 2K restoration, plus a new audio commentary by three film historians, and the trailer.