The French comedy actor Christian Clavier is no stranger to success. His award-winning 1993 film Les visiteurs, in which he played a time-travelling knight from the 12th century, had audiences of 14 million in France, a sequel and a remake in America.
Clavier’s Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu? (What have we done to the Good Lord?) has had an audience of five million since it opened two weeks ago. It’s about a traditional couple whose values are overturned when their four daughters marry an Arab, a black guy, a Chinese and a Jew. French audiences are laughing – and applauding – during the film.
French film comedy is in rude health. Dany Boon, who starred in the record-breaking Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis in 2008, had another box office success in recent weeks with Supercondriaque, about a hypochondriac and his relationship with his doctor.
The latest mainstream offerings come after the surprise hit of the bittersweet autobiographical comedy by Guillaume Gallienne of the French Academy, Les Garçons et Guillaume à table! (Me, Myself and Mum). His small-budget film attracted more than two million viewers at the end of last year.
With films like that, who cares about la crise?