Friday, 13 November 2009


Released in an age when filmed musicals weren’t exactly box office fodder, this energetic Cole Porter adaptation set in France follows filthy rich playboy Jack Forbes as he bets his friend Michael that he can win over Looloo, a hot-headed Parisienne, using charm alone. Michael, keen to make a profit from his wealthy companion, hires a pair of stooge detectives to shadow Jack, but the men end up good friends with him, even helping his side of the bet. Plenty of mishaps later, and all four men are on the run from the French authorities.

The film, devoid of musical numbers due to pressure from the public, is a remarkably saucy jaunt for its time. As the title implies, the French get a pretty ruthless portrayal as petulant, sex-hungry beings. The film doesn’t stop there with its stereotyping though, as we are treated to jokes about Germans, Scotsmen and effeminate men. One of the film’s best jokes comes in the form of a smartly-dressed gentleman ordering a series of ludicrously dainty drinks from the bar. Jack’s unenthusiastic interaction with an American couple’s misbehaving son produces some brilliant lines, such as “oh, the Moulin Rouge is FULL of babies...” and “don’t worry Junior, I’ll get you a razorblade to play with”. But it’s comedy duo Olsen & Johnson who steal the show as the detectives, Johnson’s high-pitched giggle ringing through every other scene. It might not be the most sophisticated comedy, but it certainly puts the likes of Eurotrip to shame.

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