Saturday, July 17, 2010

Warmed-Up Leftovers, Anyone?

Hollywood, can we talk about this?

Now, I know that you've been playing catch-up with the French since they invented film and all and then went on to perfect it. But there's really no need to be so pathetic in the chase. We've come a long way from the whole Pépé le Moko/Algiers thing, where you had to change the ending because of the Hayes Code.

A spokesman for Jay Roach, who is directing Dinner For Schmucks, told The New York Times that "it's not a remake" but that it is "inspired" by the orginal 1998 French film Le dîner de cons (The English title was, oddly, The Dinner Game).

Then why does it have essentially the same title as the original and and the same premise? I'm sure they've ratcheted up the potty humor and the general jackassery (yes, that's a word - says me!), but if they're using the same plot, then it's a remake!

Variety notes that other American adaptations of Francis Veber's French farces haven't been as successful as the originals:

"American adaptations of Veber's works have been all over the map, from "The Birdcage" to "Father's Day" (when DreamWorks optioned "Dinner," it too was intended to star Robin Williams)."

So now that Hollywood has seemingly exhausted the supply of TV shows, remade movie musicals and old toys out of which to make movies, they are going back to the "original remake": the foreign language remake.

Do yourself a favor: see the original. I guarantee it'll be funnier in the end.


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