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La Chevre (1982)
Starring: Pedro Armendariz, Corynne Charbit, Gerard Depardieu, Pierre Richard, Michel Robin, Andre Valardy
Director: Francis Veber
Category: Comedy, Classics, Classics, Foreign
Studio: Kino Video
91 mins



Great French Comedies

In La Chevre, French comedy writing sensation Francis Veber (The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe, La Cage Aux Folles) first teamed Tall Blond's Pierre Richard with Gerard Depardieu (Jean De Florette, The Return of Martin Guerre, Green Card), creating a wildly successful comedy duo unlike any the screen had ever seen before.

After unsuccessfully searching for a French tycoon's missing daughter in Mexico, Campana (Depardieu) is grudgingly saddled with accident-prone accountant Perrin (Richard), a would-be detective presumed to be so maladroit that he will accidentally lead Campana to the missing girl. Once let loose in Mexico, the question becomes whether Perrin will crack the case or crack his own skull first. As each pratfall brings the unlikely team closer to the missing girl, Campana transforms from dubious referee to helpless accomplice in Perrin's unending circus of accidents and contagious bad luck.

Depardieu and Richard's comic chemistry buoys the La Chevre's anarchic slapstick and biting shaggy-dog story with gently whimsy and graceful humanity. Whether incredulously sinking in quicksand or buttering toast from a shirt sleeve swamped in breakfast debris, Richard plunges headlong into every catastrophe with inexhaustible fervor and recovers with equally inexhaustible dignity. Depardieu triumphs as a pragmatic private eye clinging to professional detachment as absurdity replaces logic and the line between clown and straight man irrevocably blurs. Though expertly evoking Hope and Crosby, the Pink Panther films and Buster Keaton, La Chevre is catapulted into the pantheon of international movie comedy on the irresistible strength of its effortless and distinctively French flair.