The Car Keys


Reviewed by: Paz Newis

The Car Keys
"If you like comedy, French films and enjoying yourself, go out and find this DVD."

They don't make 'em like this any more. In the English-speaking cinema, I don't know if they ever did. Peter Cook in Bedazzled? Peter Sellers in Being There? The closest analogue I can manage is Michael Moore without the politics, or po-facedness.

So what is it? Well, it starts docu-stylee, with writer/director Laurent Baffie begging French film producers for 23 million francs to make his movie, Clef De Bagnole. 23 million? I mean, that's a lot...

Copy picture

By this point, I am almost crying with laughter. I laughed like this when I saw Jacques Tati's Traffic. Next, the pursuit of actors. I am not a fanatic for cinema du crapaud - seen a bit, liked a lot. However, I recognise a surprising number of the faces, which deliver terse-to-very-rude versions of "Non!", being able to name Antoine des Caunes, Daniel Auteuil and Eric Cantona.

Then the film begins. Baffie is in his luxury pad. His pal (Daniel Russo) comes by. They are going out. Baffie can't find his car keys. From the pitch he was throwing at the producers, we know that they are in his trouser pocket. But the jokes are coming so fast we don't care (the toilet gag is so good I won't spoil it for you). The story has only been going 10 minutes when we hear "Cut!" and the cameras swing away to show the crew, one of whom complains, "Hey, I won't get the dole..."

The film is a sequence of joke after joke after joke, most of which are very good. The actor says, "This doesn't make sense." The writer says, "I don't care. It's a good joke. That is all that matters."

And so it is and so it goes. Along the way, we take in cartoons, CGI, children, a love story, the full list for the making of a damn fine movie, which is also part of the film, as we sit in a bar, ticking off the ingredients on a blackboard - post-modern, self-mocking and quietly clever.

If you like comedy, French films and enjoying yourself, go out and find this DVD.

Reviewed on: 12 Oct 2005
Share this with others on...
The Car Keys packshot
Gag-filled French film-within-a-film that has something to do with losing car keys.
Amazon link

Director: Laurent Baffie

Writer: Laurent Baffie

Starring: Laurent Baffie, Daniel Russo, Pascal Sellem, Karine Lyachenko, Dani, Pierre Cuer, Jacques Andre, Franck Belloeil, Marius Colucci, Marcel Gotlib

Year: 2003

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: France


Search database: