English and French dialogue.
English and French dialogue.Jean Charles Tacchella’s “Seven Sundays” is an amiably inconsequential comedy that appears to be the work of people who simply made things up as they went along. Tissue-thin plotting and flat-footed pacing are major drawbacks. Even so, leads Thierry Lhermitte (“My New Partner”) and Maurizio Nichetti (“Volere Volare”) are charming enough to make pic a painless time-killer for homevid and pay cable. Filmed mostly in English in and around Sarasota, Fla., where producer (and Unifrance topper) Daniel Toscan du Plantier is a prime mover behind the annual French Film Festival, comedy owes a bit to the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby romps of yesteryear. Lhermitte is Dodo, a transplanted Frenchman who avoids work by living off the kindness of women. Nichetti is Jesus, an Italian violinist who has followed his sweetheart to Sarasota with marriage in mind. Very quickly, Jesus discovers that his sweetie has been passing his money on to Dodo. Almost as quickly, both men discover the mystery woman has taken off to parts unknown. Thus, a close friendship is born. Rod Steiger shows up for a couple of scenes as a con artist who relieves Jesus of his savings. After Steiger completes his scam, there isn’t much else in the way of plot. “Seven Sundays” simply drifts from one pointless episode to the next, following the buddies as they halfheartedly woo women while strenuously avoiding steady work. Little of what happens is genuinely funny, in large measure because of Tacchella’s tin-eared dialogue and off-key comic rhythms. Lhermitte and Nichetti give “Seven Sundays” much more than it gives them. Occasionally, they are visibly uncomfortable as they crack wise in what, for them, is a foreign language. But, then again, even the actors who claimEnglish as their mother tongue — including Molly Ringwald as a Sarasota policewoman and Susan Blakely as one of Lhermitte’s wealthy conquests — do not sound entirely at ease here. Marie-France Pisier (every bit as lovely as she was 20 years ago in Tacchella’s “Cousin, Cousine”) has a few bright moments in the nothing part of a much-married beauty-shop owner. But she’s the only one at this party who isn’t trying too hard for too little. Martial Thury’s attractive color lensing makes the most of the Sarasota locations. Other tech credits are unremarkable.
An Erato Films/Filmtre production in association with TF1 Films Production, ICE Films, JCT Prods. Produced by Jean Bodon, Jerome Paillard. Executive producer, Daniel Toscan du Plantier. Directed, written by Jean Charles Tacchella.
Camera (color), Martial Thury; music, Raymond Alessandrini; production designer, Serge Douy; sound (Dolby), Michel Kharat; costumes, Sylvie de Segonzac. Reviewed at Sarasota French Film Festival, Fla., Nov. 13, 1994. Running time: 102 MIN.
Dodo ... Thierry Lhermitte Jesus ... Maurizio Nichetti Benjamin ... Rod Steiger Marion ... Marie-France Pisier Janet ... Molly Ringwald Alice ... Susan Blakely Nicky ... Nancy Valen
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