Boudu (2005)

“She’s so hot to trot, 10 fire engines couldn’t stop her.”

Fans of French actor Gerard Depardieu should enjoy the light-hearted French comedy, Boudu. In the film, directed by Gerard Jugnot, Depardieu plays hobo Boudu–a homeless man so depressed by the death of his dog that he attempts suicide. Art gallery owner Christian (played by the director) reluctantly saves Boudu.

Christian wants to impress employee and potential mistress Coralie (Constance Dolle), and so stuck with the half-drowned hobo, Christian drags Boudu home. At first this is supposed to be a temporary arrangement, but once Boudu settles in with Christian and his neurotic wife Yseult (Catherine Frot), he doesn’t want to leave.

This film is a remake of the 1932 version Boudu Saved From Drowning, and others may recognize the plot from Down and Out in Beverly Hills. This updated version of Boudu is cruder with an emphasis on Boudu’s bad manners and sexual antics. Inevitably, the hedonistic Boudu acts as a catalyst in Christian and Yseult’s household.

Catherine Frot is a marvelous French comedienne, and the role of Yseult is perfect for the multi-talented Frot. Here as Yseult, she’s a neurotic, alcoholic, pill-popping middle-aged woman who lives in a medicated haze and expresses her unhappiness through her largely fictional medical problems. While her husband frantically tries to put out fires in order to not upset his wife’s nerves, their marriage is based on avoiding any confrontations and harsh truths. Boudu stops all this nonsense of course.

Depardieu is in top form and while he subdues his intellect for the role, he fills the part with his terrible manners and refusal to fit into societal norms. Some of these scenes are just hilarious, and I get the feeling that Depardieu had fun making this film.

Some great lines:

“I only want to kiss you, not to poke you.”

“I bet she unbends your banana.”

“When my guts go to war, it’s Hiroshima.”

“Good food lifts my tits.”


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Filed under Comedy, France, Gerard Depardieu

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