The Frenchman’s Son

A Parisian boy and his chalk-and-cheese grandmothers end up stranded in the Brazilian jungle, the better to endure an onslaught of adventure-comedy cliches. Conventional fish-out-of-water escapade is undemanding fare that's tube fodder for family timeslots.

With:
With: Josiane Balasko, Fanny Ardant, Thierry Fremont, David-Alexandre Parquier, Luca Barbareschi, George Aguilar.

A Parisian boy and his chalk-and-cheese grandmothers end up stranded in the Brazilian jungle, the better to endure an onslaught of adventure-comedy cliches. Conventional fish-out-of-water escapade is undemanding fare that’s tube fodder for family timeslots.

Benjamin (David-Alexandre Parquier), whose mom is dead and whose father has been searching for gold in Brazil for two years, is more level-headed than either of his grannies. Refined voice teacher Anne (Fanny Ardant) openly dislikes Suzanne (Josiane Balasko), an old-style concierge in a lower-class district who cheats at cards and shoplifts when not championing simple working folk such as herself. Relocating to Brazil, where they expect a warm welcome from Benjamin’s dad, they instead find themselves fleeing textbook baddies and ardent tribesmen in the rough company of a Frenchman, Jean (Thierry Fremont). First half-hour of zaftig-and-earthy vs. stylish-and-effete is relatively lively , but local color (pic was lensed in Venezuela) and frayed nerves wear thin way before the ludicrous shootout finale. Deliberately playing older and more decrepit, Ardant and Balasko turn in game perfs — though the jungle grime sticks only to the latter.

The Frenchman's Son

France

Production: A Pathe Distribution release (in France) of a Film Par Film/TF1 Films Prod. production, with participation of TPS Cinema and Cofimage 10. (International sales: TF1 Intl., Paris.) Produced by Jean-Louis Livi. Executive producer, Bernard Marescot. Directed, written by Gerard Lauzier.

Crew: Camera (color), Robert Alazraki; editor, Georges Klotz; music, Vladimir Cosma; art director, Christian Marti; costume designer; Marpessa Djian. Reviewed at UGC Orient Express, Paris, Jan. 6, 2000. Original title: Le fils du francais. (French and Portuguese dialogue.) Running time: 110 MIN.

With: With: Josiane Balasko, Fanny Ardant, Thierry Fremont, David-Alexandre Parquier, Luca Barbareschi, George Aguilar.

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