Just Visiting
Worlds collide. Andre and Thibault encounter Hunter and Julia on the streets of Chicago.
dir Jean-Marie Gaubert
scr Christian Clavier, Jean-Marie Poire, John Hughes
with Christina Applegate, Jean Reno, Christian Clavier, Malcolm McDowell, Tara Reid, Matthew Ross, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, John Alyward, George Plympton, Alexis Loret, Robert Glenister, Kelsey Grammer
release US 6.Apr.01; UK 8.Feb.02
01/US 1h28

2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
An American remake of a silly French comedy, with the original director and stars. There is obviously a decent amount of money in here, with lots of whizzy digital effects and slick production values. But is it rude to ask why they bothered? We're in Merrye Olde Englande, where a wizard (McDowell) accidentally sends the 12th century Count Thibault (Reno) and his grimy servant Andre (Clavier) forward in time to 21st century Chicago, where they get help from Thibault's descendant Julia (Applegate) and sexy neighbour (Reid) ... and battle Julia's lowlife fiance (Ross) for control of the family fortune. Hilarious antics ensue as the ragged, earthy duo encounter modern America and try to get home.

There's a zany tone and a colourful visual atmosphere that disarms us and lets us accept this film for what it is: A profoundly stupid comic adventure. There is never a remote attempt to be either clever or sophisticated; the humour centres mostly on bodily functions and sniggering innuendo, while the physical action reaches almost Benny Hill levels of broadness. Besides Applegate (who is surprisingly good), the cast deliver cornball performances that are never believable for a second. And there is nothing about the film that is even remotely memorable. But it's still somehow engaging and watchable, in a throwaway movie-comedy sort of way. Yes, there are far worse films out there.
themes, vulgarity, language cert PG 4.Feb.01

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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall