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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Coluche, before his death in a motorcycle accident in 1986, was France's most famous clown and perhaps the most unique comic actor of his generation.

    While some skits in this 1983 70's style French nonexport farce are heavy-handed, they also have a twist and avoid cheap yuks and one-liners. In the opening shots, a romantic jeep ride in the North African dunes prompts two emergency calls (one for the jeep, one for the camel) to the Paris office of Planete Assistance, a premier traveler's insurance bureau.

    Michel (Coluche) works there manically solving people's problems over the phone. He is about to tie the knot with his girl friend Isabelle (Valerie Mairesse), an airline hostess. She flies all over the world, he hates to leave the office. A series of madcap mishaps involving theft or injury (as you would expect in his line of work) ensues after Michel promises Isabelle nothing will delay their marriage and she promises in turn that she's done flying.

    Once this unlikely promise is made, it becomes premise and both are forced into escalating white lies to maintain the appearance of keeping their word. Their predicament mounts as Isabelle is forced to do a few more flights, while Michel is compelled to travel to New York, Tunisia, and finally Hong Kong, where they are finally reunited in the throes of a contrived and hilarious drug deal involving a 747, water taxi chases, and martial arts.

    While not as intense comedically as some of his earlier efforts with director Claude Zidi (L'AILE OU LA CUISSE or INSPECTEUR LA BAVURE), this is nevertheless a must for Coluche fans and the supporting cast is superb.

    The title comes from Michel's expression of feelin' on top (TEASER), or the stoned 747 pilot's exclamation (SPOILER). Available for the US market on VHS from Canada in the late '80s and again since 1997, it has not to date (2002) been released with English subtitles (I was able to order it from Francevision).
  • In other words, i miss compassionate, engaged artist, light comedies about the usual, common people ! Compared to today world, we are living on a different planet where actual artists are hypocritical impostors and comedies, the playground for upper classes ! Here, Coluche plays a racist, nationalist insurance clerk who is compelled to travel all around the world without telling his girlfriend : so he has rescue missions in Maghreb, NYC, Afrika and Hong Kong. So, what's reveals Zidi as a great director for comedy is the fact that he always find the essential and original backbone to tie all the funny moments ! In addition, it has nothing to do with spoofs and it's mean, the natural state of comedy ! Maybe the movie is uneven with the NYC trip being the more surrealist with its desert and chilly Harlem but Coluche and Mairesse, his old girlfriend, plays with deep talent and real complicity so it's really a good, nostalgic time with it ! (and don't miss James Bond's team behind the « awesome » special effects !)…