Jules Feiffer and Alain Resnais make strange bedfellows – the product of their union is this stillborn satiric comedy about an American cartoonist in Paris.
Central character is a cantankerous American cartoonist, played as a likable kvetch by songwriter and musical comedy veteran Adolph Green. He is making his first trip abroad, accompanied by Linda Lavin, to attend an exhibition of comic strip art in which his work figures.
Green’s real reason is to see his neurotic daughter (Laura Benson), who’s fled uncivilized Cleveland to enroll as a literature student at the Sorbonne. Mad about Flaubert, she has become starryeyed before her evasive professor Gerard Depardieu, who happens to be a comic book fan and one of Green’s most ardent admirers.
Depardieu drags the flattered Green and Lavin to the posh country manor of his mother Micheline Presle, who indulges her son’s obsessive Yank-collecting.
The performances are broad Broadway. Depardieu, in his first English-speaking part, knows how to charm with blithe timing but the role never grows beyond the cultural stereotype of the philandering Paris intellectual.