23 December 2018 | dbdumonteil
Madam switches off the red light.
Dismissed as rubbish by most of the French critics ,"Les Bons Vivants " is nonetheless a very funny comedy ,with lots of good lines by Audiard : it's entertaining , it's not head cinema, but why deny yourself a good laugh?
This is a movie made of three sketches ,the mcguffin of which is a lantern .
1°)the closure :lines warn us before it all begins :they put people out of business: it may be a factory ,a farm ...unemployment is looming
It actually concerns a brothel ;the Marthe Richard law from 1946 closed all those places.
The boss (Bernard Blier) and his ladies are lambasted ;some try to move into a new type of employment: nightclub hostesses, music hall ;some study the Assimil
method (English without tears) to emigrate ;some will have to be streetwalkers .
All are on the verge of tears .Don't ask for Maupassant's "La Maison Tellier" !
It's much fun though.The lantern (the red light) is given to the most deserving boarder.
2) The trial : thanks to men (and to dogs) ,this deserving lady(Andrea Parisy) climbs the social scale quickly and becomes a baroness , soon to be widowed ,for her husband could be her grandpa.
Her desirable mansion is burglarized ; the thief (Jean Lefèvre) is arrested ,but it's impossible to find one of the stolen goods : the lantern .It works pretty well as a travesty of a trial ,but the ending is botched .
3)The Bons Vivants :how an athletic club turns into a private brothel ; one of the members (Louis De Funès)takes in a would be mistreated hooker (Mireille Darc) ;she becomes his servant ,soon to be joined by other ones (including Bernadette Laffont)
Best moments: A clueless De Funès,reading his interminable speech ,while his partners have only eyes for the servants ; and a very special Christmas .
Everyone hams it up in this story which must not be taken seriously ;just for fun!