Les comperes | Chicago Reader

Les comperes

Francis Veber, the author of innumerable boulevard comedies (including La cage aux folles), is the Gallic Neil Simon: a reasonably honest craftsman who keeps audiences happy with a deft balance of the risque and the conventional. The plotting of this film, Veber's second as a writer-director, is typically ingenious: a mother desperate to locate her runaway son tells two of her ex-lovers (tough-guy journalist Gerard Depardieu and blubbering neurotic Pierre Richard) that each may be the boy's true father, and sends them out to look for him. The mechanical possibilities are worked out with precision and relish, but Veber is careful not to allow the comedy to linger too long in the realm of real feelings. A platitudinous ending restores a safe and sane emotional order. With Anny Duperay.

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