Screened as part of NZIFF 2004
Gérard Depardieu is Quentin, a good-natured idiot embarking on a life of crime, and Jean Reno is hard-boiled Ruby, a vengeful crook with enemies everywhere. They’re the vitally mismatched twosome in this shameless slapstick comedy, another hit for Francis Veber, writer/director of classic French farces La Cage aux folles, The Dinner Game and The Closet. Thrown together in a prison cell, Quentin, who never stops prattling, mistakes the taciturn Ruby for a good listener and therefore a friend. Ruby, meanwhile, convinced that nobody could be as stupid as Quentin, decides he must be incredibly smart and working undercover for the police. When Quentin pulls off a breathtakingly clumsy escape, the astounded Ruby joins him and the two hit the Paris streets where the misunderstandings escalate.
“Depardieu outdoes his earlier performances as a grinning hulk with the brain of a brontosaurus. If Veber’s farcical plotting is sometimes familiarly perfunctory, it is Depardieu who humanises the mechanics with wacky sweetness, charm and perfect comic timing.” — Benny Cook, Screen International