Welcome Aboard

The French Republic's favorite village idiot-cum-comedian, Franck Dubosc ("Camping," "The Marquis"), gets dropped onto a cruiseliner by a vengeful employee who hopes he'll wreak hilarious havoc in "Welcome Aboard." Latest middle-of-the-road comedy by Gallic scribe-helmer Eric Lavaine ("Poltergay") stars not only Dubosc but also popular comic thesp Valerie Lemercier ("Le petit Nicolas"), and their antagonistic chemistry convinces even when some gags miss their mark. Locally, this amusing but never uproarious trifle cruised to 1 million admissions in just three weeks, though excursions outside Francophone territories will be minimal.

With:
With: Franck Dubosc, Valerie Lemercier, Gerard Darmon, Luisa Ranieri, Lionnel Astier, Elisa Servier, Philippe Lellouche, Jean-Michel Lahmi, Guillaine Londez, Shirley Bousquet, Elisabeth Margoni, Reem Kherci, Francois Vincentelli. (French, English, German dialogue)

The French Republic’s favorite village idiot-cum-comedian, Franck Dubosc (“Camping,” “The Marquis”), gets dropped onto a cruiseliner by a vengeful employee who hopes he’ll wreak hilarious havoc in “Welcome Aboard.” Latest middle-of-the-road comedy by Gallic scribe-helmer Eric Lavaine (“Poltergay”) stars not only Dubosc but also popular comic thesp Valerie Lemercier (“Le petit Nicolas”), and their antagonistic chemistry convinces even when some gags miss their mark. Locally, this amusing but never uproarious trifle cruised to 1 million admissions in just three weeks, though excursions outside Francophone territories will be minimal.

The head of HR at a French cruise line (Lemercier) is dumped and fired by her married lover (Lionnel Astier), who’s also her boss. Her final act of revenge: Hire the most inept candidate (Dubosc) ever for the post of onboard entertainer. Lavaine and regular co-scribe Hector Cabello Reyes display more finesse than usual in the way they intertwine major and minor plotlines, though much of the broad comedy is again not too sharply written, with the performers often overcompensating for only semi-decent setups. Technically, pic is shipshape, except for the HD lensing, which had minor issues at the screening caught.

Welcome Aboard

France

Production: A Pathe release of a Same Player presentation of a Same Player, Pathe, Appaloosa Films, M6 Films production, in association with M6, Canal Plus, CineCinema, W9. (International sales: Pathe Intl., Paris.) Produced by Vincent Roget, Francois Cornuau. Directed by Eric Lavaine. Screenplay, Lavaine, Hector Cabello Reyes.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Stephane Le Parc; editor, Vincent Zuffranieri; music, Jean-Michel Bernard; production designer, Sandrine Jarron; costume designer, Nadia Chmilewsky. Reviewed at Gaumont Opera Cote Capucines, Paris, Oct. 25, 2011. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Franck Dubosc, Valerie Lemercier, Gerard Darmon, Luisa Ranieri, Lionnel Astier, Elisa Servier, Philippe Lellouche, Jean-Michel Lahmi, Guillaine Londez, Shirley Bousquet, Elisabeth Margoni, Reem Kherci, Francois Vincentelli. (French, English, German dialogue)

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