Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

PARDON MON AFFAIRE (An Elephant Can Be Enormously in the Way)
(Un Elephant Ca Trompe Enormement (Pardon Mon Affaire))

Year: 1976
Country: France
Run Time: 100 minutes

PARDON MON AFFAIRE (An Elephant Can Be Enormously in the Way)

Robert's movie is a wry comedy in the bittersweet idiom of several light classics of the French cinema. The director's other 11 films include the popular "The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe" (1972) and the widely acclaimed "Salut L'Artiste" (1973). PARDON MON AFFAIRE blends the conventions of the buddy-buddy genre with those of traditional French sex farces. European buddy films tend to be more satiric than their American counterparts and Robert's movie is no exception. It centers around a proper, 40-ish servant, Etienne (Jean Rochefort), whose comfortable marriage is beginning to grow too comfortable. He's bewitched by a sexy wench named Charlotte (Anny Duperey), and the movie recounts his increasingly bizarre attempts to score. His charming wife Marthe (Daniele Delorme, Mme. Robert in private life) is hotly pursued by a precocious 17 year old, but she handles her problem with considerably more grace than her straying spouse. Etienne is assisted by three long-time friends - a cheery band of chauvinist blowhards. Guy Bedos plays the mama's boy Simon, Victor Lanoux is the insensitive Bouly and Claude Brasseur plays Daniel, the gayest "chevalier" of them all. The movie is loosely structured, very much in the French manner, and consists of interlocking vignettes which lampoon the follies of these overgrown fraternity boys. Written by Jean-Loup Dabadie, Robert's regular scenarist, the dialogue is immensely civilized in its malice. The director packs his movie with such charming nonsense as mistaken identities, surprise revelations, bungled liaisons and last-minute rescues. But Robert also allows the humanity of his characters to emerge, as critic John Simon has pointed out: "The movie manages to be both madcap and firmly rooted in human experience."

Screenplay
Jean-Loup Dabadie and Yves Robert

Producer
(Companies) Gaumount International, Les Productions de la Gueville

Cinematography
Rene Mathelin

Editing
Gerard Pollicand

Principal Cast
Jean Rochefort, Claude Brasseur, Guy Bedos, Victor Lanoux, Daniele Delorme, Anny Duperey, Martine Sarcey, Marthe Villalonga

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