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The comic chemistry of Pierre Richard (The Tall Blond Man With The One Black Shoe) and Gérard Depardieu (Jean De Florette, The Return of Martin Guerre), introduced in 1982's La Chevre, here energizes this antic adventure with infectious charisma and sincerity. An endearing French screwball classic, Les Compères was a runaway hit in its native country and a critical and popular success in the US, where it spawned a Hollywood remake (Father's Day starring Robin Williams & Billy Crystal). When her 16-year old son runs away from their Paris home, Christine (Anny Dupery) sidesteps her stubborn husband and separately convinces two former lovers that they are each the boy's father. Duped into a sense of responsibility for a son they never knew, each man follows the boy's trail to Nice. For Lucas (Depardieu), a two-fisted crime reporter, and Pignon (Richard), a fragile neurotic, their search through the back alleys of the Riviera is a chance to validate the years of bachelorhood they've squandered. After they find Tristan (Stephane Bierry), the two men search for themselves in the boy while packing a decades' worth of dubious parenting into a few manic days battling Riviera bikers, casino racketeers and most often each other. Depardieu and Richard's expert timing and interplay allows this tender farce to unfold with a breakneck pace that belies the honest sentiment at its heart. According to the Los Angeles Times, the stars "play off each other beautifully, not unlike a contemporary, more sophisticated Laurel and Hardy," as Depardieu's brawling newspaperman and Richard's timid dreamer eventually win over Tristan and each other. In Les Compères, writer/director Francis Veber (La Chevre, La Cage Aux Folles [writer only]) ingeniously blends elements of buddy movies, thrillers, and teen comedy into what the New York Post aptly declared, "superior entertainment."

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Special Features * Original theatrical trailer * Optional English subtitles * Enhanced for 16 X 9 TVs

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KI2742 Comperes, Les DVD (1982/Gerard Depardieu) $24.95