26 August 2010 | dbdumonteil
Sweet Marilou I'm so in love with you!
The portmanteau film is not par excellence an easy thing to do :only Julien Duvivier ("Un Carnet De Bal" ) and Max Ophûls ("Le Plaisir" ) made really memorable works.It was often made by different directors ,which meant uneven results.Here it's Carlo Rim's work.
"Escalier De Service " is an undistinguished effort ,which most people want to watch today because of Louis De Funès's small part in the last segment.The main thread is a maid who can't find a steady job ;wherever she works ,something goes wrong and either she must give in her notice,or she is dismissed.
Segment one involves a minister/secretary ,about to deliver a speech about the joys of family but his own (family) is a nuisance to live with at home .An unfunny slapstick comedy.
Segment two : the maid works in a strange home with sinister-looking people ;they forbade her to enter a mysterious workshop;but women are curious...It would have taken lots of black humor which desperately lack here.
Segment three: the maid works in a house where both dad and the son fall in love with her;the young lad hides naked ladies photographs in his Latin dictionary and the father hides erotic magazines under his pillow
Segment four is ,IMHO ,the only moment which enlivens a bit a dull movie.But you can't be wrong when your stars are Danielle Darrieux and Robert Lamoureux.An actress and a screenwriter,short of the readies ,are waiting for a Russian producer (and a lucrative contract). But they wait in vain and the only thing they can still do is commit suicide ;they try to find a way to take their own lives in the dictionary ,the one thing the bailiff has left them;they opt for gas ,but....
Segment five returns to slapstick comedy and it involves a "genial " forger (paintings).
In between the segments ,we make acquaintance with young people who lead a bohemian life and take Cagliostro's life to the stage ;the connection with the problems of the servant escapes me,I fear....
Etchika Choureau who plays the lead (and who resembles Italian sex symbol of the seventies Laura Antonelli)quickly fell into oblivion although her filmography includes relatively interesting works ("L'Envers Du Paradis" where she teamed up with Helena Manson (segment two) for the first time ;"Les Intrigantes " with Jeanne Moreau).Her career oddly came to an end with the part of Angélique's ugly sister in the famous saga.