25 July 2007

My Best Friend

It's movie pass week. This new French movie stars Daniel Auteuil as an antique dealer who's made to realize he has plenty of business contacts but not a single friend. (In the words of one old classmate, since the age of 11 he has been a "smug son of a bitch.")

After a bet with his business partner (she has to meet his best friend in 10 days), he engages an amiable taxi driver (Dany Boon) to teach him how to make friendly connections. The driver's lessons fail, but the antique dealer ends up friends with the taxi driver. Then the dealer betrays the friendship because he still doesn't really understand what friendship is and loses the friend. Then he sincerely repents, secretly makes amends, and eventually he and his friend reconcile. In the process he has become a much better person, and everybody likes him.

Have we heard this story before? Yes. Is it pretty predictable? Yes. Is it still fun to watch? Absolutely. Terrific performances and details that are not entirely expected (the cab driver is an autodidact with complete mastery of the sort of trivia featured on quiz shows) make this movie continuously entertaining, and in spite of the familiar story, it provides some acute observations that make you think about the nature of friendship and its relative scarcity.

Not to mention deeply thankful to have friends.

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