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Feydeau for 1970s
on 25 March 2004
Unlike the commentator from Stockport, I'd disagree that the remake is better than the original; matter of opinion, but I'd say classic farce is always better with reference to its context and time.
Since the days of Feydeau, the French have done farce far better than Americans, largely because American audiences miss the deep undercurrents of irony and see only the surface froth. The French version is drenched more naturally in social tension in the way only a collective and paternalistic society can, but retains a patina of freshness and charm. It's also more theatrical, though I rather like the performance element - it seems somehow more spontaneous.
Furthermore, Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault are delightful. By comparison, the performances of Nathan Lane and Robin Williams seem worthy but derivative.
While I'd agree that the DVD translation could be better, many of the extras are worth having.