My Best Friend
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Making Of Documentary (25 Minutes).
PATRICE Leconte’s My Best Friend is the type of gentle French comedy that could easily be targeted for a Hollywood remake.
It boasts an intriguing premise and several nice performances from an engaging cast – but it ultimately lacks the conviction to be anything other than a slight diversion.
Daniel Auteuil plays self-obsessed antiques dealer Francois who is challenged by his business partner (Julie Gayet) to produce the best friend he claims he has after she accuses him of being a loner.
At stake is a Greek antique vase that Francois feels strangely drawn to. But winning the bet proves harder than anticipated until he enlists the help of chatty, trivia-obsessed cab driver Bruno (Dany Boon) following a number of chance encounters between the two men.
Leconte’s film works hard to win you over and doesn’t always convince – but it gets by because of the spirited performances of its genial cast.
Auteuil handles his Scrooge-like epiphany with quiet relish and creates a character that’s just about worth rooting for in spite of his many failings (his early attempts at seeking out friends are particularly cringe-inducing).
But Boon presents him with a useful foil even though some of his anxieties and traits border on the annoying.
There are a few nice twists in both men’s path towards happiness and the sentiment is mostly kept in check until a somewhat contrived finale set during the French version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.
The end result is a patchy but strangely endearing affair that might actually benefit from a Hollywood makeover so long as the right hands are applied.
In French, with subtitles
Running time: 95mins