A wafer-thin comedy of scant rewards, “Le Bison (and His Neighbor Dorine)” marks the directing debut of co-star and co-scripter Isabelle Nanty, best known abroad as the hypochondriac cigarette vendor in “Amelie.” Strained tale of a very pregnant concierge and mother of four who semi-bonds with the dissolute playboy next door relies on the compound mistaken assumptions that all children are inherently heartwarming, pregnancy and labor are a laugh riot and many an independently wealthy jerk is just waiting for the opportunity to abdicate his lifelong personality because the script says so. Despite upbeat returns for June 4 release, a producer of Claude Berri’s stature should have thought twice before encouraging such a piffle.
Loving mom Dorine Romero (Nanty) tends a ritzy apartment building in Paris. Shortly before their fifth child is due, her hubby splits. Neighbor Louis Le Bison (Edouard Baer) has been at war with Dorine, who’s forever vacuuming when he’s trying to sleep. But he turns out to be a semi-mensch, minding the brood while Dorine struggles to deliver. Hearty classical score dominated by Bach and Beethoven is incongruous for such an insubstantial film.