3 Men and a Cradle | Chicago Reader

3 Men and a Cradle

Directed by Coline Serreau (Why Not?), this was a box office sensation in France, though from this side of the Atlantic it seems little more than a passable imitation of a 50s situation comedy. Roland Giraud, Michel Boujenah, and Andre Dussollier are three carefree bachelors who learn a lot of Important Lessons about life, responsibility, and respect for women as they take care of a baby abandoned on their doorstep. How do you say, corny? Serreau directs for maximum freneticism, with her actors rushing around and regurgitating great torrents of imperfectly subtitled dialogue (a gratuitous subplot involving drug traffickers seems to have been inserted just to double the hysteria), and while there are more than a few laughs, most of them are laughs of recognition—seeing these gags again is like coming across long-lost (and vaguely embarrassing) relations. The film's only eccentricity is its jarringly anomalous, dark, claustrophobic visual style—it's as if Abbott and Costello had invaded the world of The Godfather. With Dominique Lavanant and Philippine Leroy Beaulieu (1985).

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