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Based on the 1932 film, Boudu is also not unlike 80's Bette Midler/Richard Dreyfuss effort Down and Out in Beverly Hills which was also about a charming homeless man who is recued from certain death and given a room in a well-off couple's home. Interestingly Nolte played the Depardieu role in Three Fugitives (a US remake of Les Fugitifs) and here Depardieu plays the Nolte role. I'm not sure what this all means but it FEELS significant somehow...

(It's not)

Boudu is directed by and stars French comedy veteran Gerard Jugnot and the film does feel like the kind of farce he would have done in the 80's, unfortunately the film was made in 2005 after about a million comedies were made with pretty much exactly the same story/structure/jokes. Better late than never? Not in this case.

This is really the film's main flaw: it's about 20 years too late. And to be honest, even back then it would have been a bit naff.

Acting-wise, everyone does their best but Depardieu is way too drunk and gross to be charming, Jugnot too whiny to be funny and Frot too annoying to be basically we're left with very little. Thankfully Depardieu and Jugnot are always entertaining enough but one just wishes they had made something new and original rather than this dated mess. Hell, even Down and Out in Beverly Hills was more realistic in its approach! Boudu just expects you to find alcoholism, cheating and near-raping charming and hilarious. Sorry but that kind of dark humour has to be earned, just ask Albert Dupontel!

Overall, Boudu isn't the worst hour and a half you can spend and if you've never seen a French comedy (or Down and Out) ever before in your entire life then you might enjoy parts of it but I would just recommend older, better films. For vintage Depardieu check out La Chevre or even recent effort Tais-Toi, for vintage Jugnot check out Le Pere Noel Est Une Ordure or Les Bronzes Font Du Ski.

So Boudu: not terrible but not really worth it I'm afraid.

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