The Suitor | Chicago Reader

The Suitor

81 minutes 2012

This swell debut feature by French comedian Pierre Etaix was released in 1962, but it would have gone over just as well in 1922: the opening sight gag—a nerdy young man (Etaix) tears a girly photo from a magazine, then pins up the scientific chart on the reverse side of the page—harks back to the silent era in its instant illumination of character. The man’s long-suffering parents want him to find a wife and move out of their house, which leads him into a series of romantic misadventures and, ultimately, an infatuation with a sexy chanteuse. Though Etaix broke into movies as a gag man for Jacques Tati, The Suitor is more heavily reminiscent of Buster Keaton, especially the extended sequence in which the hero gets mixed up with a drunken floozy at a nightclub and has to drive her home and put her to bed. In French with subtitles.

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