Alternative Title: Les Visiteurs
My uncle never liked Monty Python was he was younger – he just found it too stupid to be enjoyable. Eventually, as he got older, he kind of came around, but he attributes it to getting old and losing a few brain cells. I have a hard time understanding that because I love Holy Grail and Life of Brian, but I found myself experiencing a similar disdain for immense stupidity while watching this film.
Les Visiteurs is a French comedy about a knight and his servant in the year 1123 who accidentally travel to France in 1992 and have to get back. It’s a very stupid, stupid comedy, but the French people, weirdly enough, love it. It was #1 at the French box office in its day, and it is the fifth-highest-grossing film in the country today, so the professor of my French Film and Culture class had to show it.
The professor noted that the film has some resemblance to Monty Python, but, while I can see that, I think it’s too focused on making gross, obvious, and in-your-face jokes, without the more cerebral critique of humanity’s pathetically mechanical nature that Python does so well. The film also has many bothersome scenes showing grotesque transformations of faces, which remind me of some of the films based on the works of Roald Dahl in that the imagery is more unsettling and uncanny than entertaining. I don’t hate the film – some parts are funny – but maybe I’ll appreciate it more if I lose a few brain cells.