Not to be confused with the series of Chanel biopics coming out later this year, outre bar mitzvah comedy “Coco” both entertains and disappoints in its drive for excess. Helming debut from standup star Gad Elmaleh adapts one of his sketches — a flamboyant multimillionaire wants to make his son’s big day the biggest in history — into a panoply of gags that mock French Sephardic Jews the same way “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” mocked disco-loving Israeli immigrants. Boosted by Elmaleh’s fame, the mid-March release nabbed nearly 2 million admissions in its opening week. Beyond Gaul, biz looks less ritzy.
Some genuinely funny jokes make the first half easy to digest, but then the gushiness kicks in. As Coco (Elmaleh) tries to smooth things out with his wife (Pascale Arbillot), mom (Gladys Cohen) and son (Nicolas Jouxtel) — who all think he’s taking the bar mitzvah plans way too far — the napkin-sketched plot tiredly works its way to a conclusion. What remains is Elmaleh’s impressive, nonstop energy, the use of the term “goyfriend” and a pair of dogs crudely named Dolce and Gabbana. Like his protag, Elmaleh’s direction is garishly in-your-face.