Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mon meilleur ami

Mon meilleur ami (known in the US as My Best Friend) is a quaint French film that tells the story of curmudgeon François Coste who at a dinner party one night belittles a client who had recently died and had in attendance at his funeral all of six people, including the deceased.

Coste's acquaintances summarily inform him that in fact if he died there would be one at his, and that would also include the deceased.

He didn't have a friend in the world.

His impassioned protests result in a challenge from his business partner Catherine who wagers that he can not produce a "best friend" by the deadline.

Coste finds himself surprisingly alone as he pulls out all the stops to find someone who will present themself as his best friend and sinks ever lower as he ingratiates himself to old classmates and aquaintances alike. In a series of gut-wrenchingly embarassing scenes he discovers that he has in fact been a pompous boor his entire life and he is hard-pressed to find someone not willing to inform of just that.

Ultimately, it is Coste's neighborhood taxi driver who is drafted to save the day. Not unlike Reign Over Me it is the story of two men who complete each other through a newfound friendship.

My Best Friend is a charming, well made if not terribly engrossing French-language film that we stumbled upon which is quite endearing in the English-subtitled version as the French language and the urban Parisian scenery are a rare treat.

1 comment:

Night Writer said...

A few years ago my wife and I went to see a film at the Bell Museum on the U of M campus entitled "Rent a Friend". It was a Dutch film about a struggling artist who gets the idea to start a business by first renting himself out as a friend to lonely people, and idea that soon becomes a huge success with him developing a cadre of "friends" to rent out. It sounds cold, but is a sweet-natured, often-hilarious film with winning performances by the lead actor. There's some casual nudity, but overall a charming film with some understated points on the nature of friendship and the alienation that's common in our lives. Unfortunately it's not available on Netflix yet, and while you can get it from Amazon, it is not in a format that's viewable on an standard US DVD player. I keep looking for it, though.