It’s Oh La La! time again

The French comedy film festival regales nationwide.

Cést La Vie!  (photo credit: PR)
Cést La Vie!
(photo credit: PR)
If you could use a few laughs this November — and who couldn’t? — check out the third Oh La La! French Comedy Festival, which runs from November 16 to December 5 at the cinematheques in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Sderot and Rosh Pina, as well as the cultural center in Savyon, Globus Max Ashdod, and the Yad Labanim House in Ra’anana. There will be special screenings on two weekends at Kochav Cinema in Ramat Hasharon, and two films will also be screened at Cinema City Glilot, Jerusalem and Netanya.
Many of the films have English and Hebrew subtitles.
The opening film is Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s C’est la vie! The writing/directing duo, who made such hits as The Intouchables and Samba, are coming to Israel for the festival. This film tells the story of the behind-the-scenes goings-on at a very tasteful wedding held in a 17th-century castle. Toledano and Nakache have made frequent appearances at film festivals in Israel.
The festival features the best of contemporary French comedies, along with several classics you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see on the big screen. Jean Renoir’s Boudu Saved from Drowning is one of most influential comedies of all time and was reworked in the 1986 film Down and Out in Beverly Hills by Paul Mazursky. The original 1932 French film tells the story of a bourgeois family that takes in a tramp who has been pulled from the river. But this tramp, played by the legendary Michel Simon, is less of a helpless victim than they originally believe.
Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le Metro is a classic 1960 comedy about a young girl who has to spend a few days with relatives in Paris and dreams of riding the subway. But there is a subway workers’ strike on, so she gets to know the city by foot, meeting people all over Paris.
Yves Robert’s 1972 film The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe tells the story of a classical musician who is mistaken for a master spy and gets caught up in the rivalry between intelligence agencies.
Pierre Richard and Jean Rochefort star in this farce, which was followed by the sequel The Return of the Tall Blond Man.
Among the contemporary films, He Even Has Your Eyes by Lucien Jean-Baptiste is about a couple who dream of adopting a baby.
The twist is that they are black, and the baby they are given to adopt is white. Writer/director Jean-Baptiste also stars in the film.
Edouard Baer is best known as an actor and has even appeared in an Israeli film, Eytan Fox’s Cupcakes. But he is also a director and in his latest film, Open at Night, he plays an actor who has just one night to save his theater. Audrey Tautou co-stars.
Baer also stars in Encore heureux, a film by Benoit Graffin about a couple facing marital difficulties, with Sandrine Kiberlain.
Sou Abadi’s Cherchez la femme is about how a couple’s relationship is disrupted when the woman’s conservative brother arrives from Yemen.
In Eric Lavaine’s L’embarras du choix, an indecisive woman (Alexandra Lamy) has her father and friends choose everything for her but has to make her own decision after she falls for two men.
Nicholas Bedos’s Monsieur & Madame Adelman tells the story of a biographer investigating the life of a literary couple.
The Student and Monsieur Henri, directed by Ivan Calberac, is about a gruff old man who rents his spare room to a beautiful student on the condition that she try to break up his son’s marriage.
The festival was organized by Eden Cinema, with the support and cooperation of the Institut Francais in Israel, UNIFRANCE Films, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality and the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.