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MY BEST FRIEND

Director: PATRICE LECONTE

FRANCE • 2006 • SUBTITLED. • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 94 MIN


PATRICE LECONTE IS IN A LIGHT BUT THOUGHTFUL MOOD IN MY BEST FRIEND, A BUDDY MOVIE THAT ACTUALLY PONDERS THE NATURE OF WHAT IT IS TO BE A BUDDY.
François (Daniel Auteuil) runs a Paris antique business with partner Catherine (Julie Gayet), who’s concerned about their mounting debts. François appears to be all business, first seen attending the funeral of a competitor for the sole purpose of making a deal on some furniture. Noted for his haughty attitude and a tendency to value things over people, François is chided by his associates at his birthday party for having no friends. Catherine challenges him to serve up his best friend in person in ten days, or he must sell off a pricey Greek vase he just purchased. François’s stabs at seeking out a best pal are nearly satiric. He meets loquacious taxi driver Bruno (Dany Boon), whom he recruits to help in the fine art of making friends. It may be a touch obvious where this is heading, but Leconte and scriptwriter Jerôme Tonnerre create real interest by crafting a thoughtful but airy entertainment while inserting a sense of sadness about the lives of fundamentally lonely men.
For all its clever plotting (including a terrific bit involving the real Greek vase and a fake), My Best Friend is certain to make amused audiences consider their own lives and friends. The film leaves behind as human a touch as Intimate Strangers, Man on the Train or The Hairdresser’s Husband—some of Leconte’s previous works centred on pairings of distinctly different individuals.—Robert Koehler.

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