Les Apprentis

Film, Comedy
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Salvadori's follow-up to his eccentric debut Wild Target is another droll comedy of manners that milks humour from a story of outsiders. Here - more properly insiders, given the time they spend in the flat - they are two no-hopers, Antoine (Cluzet in po-faced, mildly hysteric form) and Fred (gangling Depardieu), thrown together when they find themselves permanently taking temporary residence in the vacated Paris apartment of a mutual friend. The older Antoine, an aspirant writer without a whole idea, is neurotic, ditzy and incredulous; Fred, a likeable, half-dressed slouch, is much more phlegmatic. Theirs is not a marriage of true minds, more a coupling of convenience - strictly heterosexual, of course - until the going gets tough, and Antoine comes close to losing his mind. Salvadori has the confidence to gear down from the frenetic farce of the earlier movie to a laid-back observational style more suited to his odd couple's languorous misadventures. Cluzet makes a fine curmudgeon, a facial register of woe; and Depardieu (who won a César for his performance) is a seductive naïf. Marie Vermillard's script pushes rather too hard for significance and pathos at the end, and the film misses the gravity lent by Jean Rochefort to Wild Target, but it's a genuinely winning light comedy all the same.

By: WH

Release details

Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Pierre Salvadori
Screenwriter: Philippe Harel, Pierre Salvadori
Cast: Guillaume Depardieu
Marie Trintignant
Claire Laroche
François Cluzet
Judith Henry
Philippe Girard
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