Le Diner de Cons

Le Diner de Cons


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The humour feels uncomfortable, as if mocking innocence is funny. Even the concept curdles the imagination. Pierre Brochant (Thierry Lhermitte) is a well known Parisian publisher. Once a week, he and his smart (male) friends give a dinner party, at which they invite the most boring, idiotic person they can find, in order to ridicule them.

At first sight, Francois Pignon (Jacques Villeret) appears made-to-measure. He is small, chubby, balding and an accountant. What makes him dinner party gold, however, is his obsession with matchstick models and - even better - yakking about them at great length.

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On the day of his invitation, Brochant cricks his back and can hardly walk. Also, his wife leaves him. Pignon arrives to find his host incapacitated, the dinner cancelled and a personal drama unfolding. Being a nice person, he tries to help. Being a fool, he puts his foot in it. Brochant rages, Pignon looks sheepish.

The film makes no attempt to disguise its theatrical origins. There is much coming in and going out and coming in again. The telephone is an important prop and mistaken identity a standard. Gags that don't kick Pignon in the pants are conspicuous by their absence and Pignon, poor fellow, doesn't deserve such treatment.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A dinner party organised with guests bringing an 'idiot' goes awry.
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Director: Francis Veber

Writer: Francis Veber

Starring: Thierry Lhermitte, Jacques Villeret, Francis Huster, Daniel Prévost, Alexandra Vandernoot, Catherine Frot

Year: 1998

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: France


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