Nous irons à Deauville (1962)

aka: We Will Go to Deauville


Nous irons a Deauville photo
Two friends head off for their holidays in the seaside resort of Deauville, accompanied by their wives and the niece of one of them. Things get off to a bad start with interminable traffic jams and an altercation with a motorist. When they get to their holiday home it turns out to be a completely dilapidated old villa. Before they can settle down and enjoy their holiday the two friends must first try to make the villa habitable. As if this wasn't enough misfortune, their suitcase, which was sent by train, has somehow got lost in transit. On the beach, one of the friends meets his boss, and invites him to camp out with his family on the lawn in front of his holiday villa. This is where the fun begins...
© 2014

Film Review

Film poster
It's surprising how few mainstream French comedies from the 60s and 70s have stood the test of time, despite the incredible abundance of talent on both sides of the camera. Even box office hits such as the Gendarme films which helped to make Louis de Funès a comic icon are now derided, easily dismissed as silly and unsophisticated. From the most cursory glance at its cast list, you might have expected Nous irons à Deauville to be an out-and-out classic. How could a film that boasts the combined comedic talents of Louis de Funès, Michel Serrault, Claude Brasseur, Jean Carmet and Michel Galabru fail to hit the spot?  Yet hit the spot it does, with an almost ruthless determination.

It's not as if Francis Rigaud was a totally hopeless director. He had shown a degree of flair with his previous comedies, Les Baratineurs (1965) and Les Gros Bras (1964), films which had made good use of two of the decade's most popular comic actors, Francis Blanche and Darry Cowl. With Nous irons à Deauville Rigaud is saddled with a third rate script that not only has no cohesion - it's basically just a series of sketches lazily flung together - it just isn't funny. The only scenes that get a laugh are those involving Louis de Funès, but then he's the kind who would cause an outbreak of hysterics at a wake. Despite the paucity of decent scripted gags, de Funès still manages to be consistently hilarious whenever he is in shot - he even gets laughs just by making a sand castle. Remove every scene not involving this comedy giant (including a pointless musical interlude with Sacha Distel) and you'll end up with a ten minute short that will make you laugh yourself into your grave. The rest of the film is more likely to put you into a deep coma.
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The director Francis Rigaud also worked with the actor Michel Serrault on the film Les Baratineurs (1965).

Film Credits

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