Mon meilleur ami
Autumn 2007 Main series
Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 4:00pm
Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 7:00pm
Monday, November 19, 2007 at 7:00pm
Directed by Patrice Laconte
Starring Daniel Auteuil, Dany Boon, and Julie Gayet
Rated NR ·
A Gala Presentation at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, Mon meilleur ami is a uniquely entertaining buddy film with a twist — the buddy is missing! When an arrogant middle-aged antiques dealer makes the startling discovery that none of his so-called friends actually likes him, he accepts his business partner’s bet: if he can produce his meilleur ami, she will let him keep the massive Greek vase he acquired on the company tab. If not, it’s hers.
Having accepted the wager, François (French mega-star Daniel Auteuil, Caché, Le placard) naively tears through his address book, trying to shoehorn an increasingly unlikely series of contacts into the all-important role. Moving through Paris, he keeps encountering a trivia-spouting, magnanimous cabbie named Bruno (the adorable Dany Boon, Joyeux noël, La doublure). Bruno’s chatty, lowbrow ways grate against François’s designer temperament, but he covets the other man’s finesse with people. He convinces Bruno to teach him how to make friends and sets about learning the “three S’s” — being sociable, smiling and sincere — though they don’t come easy. Is the answer to François’s problem sitting beside him in the taxi?
Director Patrice Leconte’s features such as Ridicule and L’homme du train have established his particular wit and sensitivity to human folly. For a film about a mid-life crisis and a borderline personality dysfunction, Mon meilleur ami is immense fun. In one particularly hilarious sequence that feels like something out of a make-up-break-up romantic comedy, a dejected and lonely François walks the streets only to be tormented by the sight of other pairs of best friends, laughing, strolling or drinking together in idyllic unison. As the plot moves towards its denouement, François takes a backseat and Bruno gets his chance at proving his vast knowledge in a big way. To reveal more would ruin one of the film’s many charming surprises, but suffice it to say Leconte wraps up every possible plot strand in a winning and heart-warming happy ending.