Top positive review
on 1 September 2013
I have been waiting Years! at last this is on CD. Watched this when it first came out and nearly died laughing. It is still funny, quite as much as I remembered. Tati is the master of understated mishap humour. He looks daft to start with. The slightly too short trousers and Mac are his trademark without being totally crazy - I hate comics who have to have silly voices and outrageously stupid clothes to get a laugh - give me intelligent humour any time. John Cleese has an air of Tati about him.
The road trip has very cliche you can think of, and you would be so disappointed if they were not there. Nothing is ever exaggerated or pointed at - you have to see and discover it yourself. This is the complete opposite of american humour when the comic looks at the audience and waits for the laugh(even if the joke is not funny). Tati lets you see the joke and absorb it at your own pace. Blink and you may miss it - wind it back and enjoy it again. This is my favourite Tati film, even if it was not the Critic's favourite.
It's a simple story: take a camper van from France to a motor show across the border. What could go wrong - lots!
This is almost a silent movie - it does have words, mostly French, but there are subtitles. The words don't matter. Its the tone of voice and hand gestures that tell the story - the words are only there because people do speak; you don't need to know what is being said because it is so clever, you can see the meaning.
There are several things to keep an eye out for. Watch the little dog; its a film within a film. Watch the Free gifts with petrol. (I remember sets of tumblers being the UK giveaway of the same time period) Watch for the lady's fashion accessories, and keep an eye on the boy at the motor show. Be especially vigilant with the customs officers.
There are more Gems for you to find, but they are for you to find.
I watched this with my 19 year old son, who rarely even so much as smirks at old films and he was laughing! Good humour stays good!