|Tati's slapstick falls flat.|
Directed by Jacques Tati
Produced by Fred Orain
Written by Jacques Tati and Henri Marquet
Starring Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud and Michele Rolla
Plot Summary: The fumbling Monsieur Hulot vacations at a hotel by the beach.
Significance: Considered one of the greatest French comedies of all time, it was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#322 in the directors poll and #588 in the critics one). It was also nominated for a writing Oscar and an award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Thoughts: Slapstick comedy in the right hands can be genius, but Tati's gags didn't impress me here. The film is nothing more than a series of scenarios where physical comedy emerges, and those sequences aren't very memorable. Chaplin and Keaton were brilliant. They were captivating on screen. But they were more acrobatic and creative than Tati, whose attempts at humor feel tired or just not very funny. I wanted to love this movie, yet I barely laughed at all. Tati's slapstick routine feels so uninspired. His use of sound gets old, and his pratfalls feel too calculated. The staging of some jokes is effective, though I was often uninterested. I haven't seen films like Mon Oncle or Playtime, so I'm hoping I'll come around to the genius of Tati in those comedies. Still, plenty of people love this, and it deserves to be seen. I'm sure I'm one of very few who don't adore this movie.