(1981)4Craig ButlerThose looking for a comedy of significance, one that has something important to say beneath its jokey exterior, will need to avoid La Chèvre, but those who simply want an uproariously good time should go out of their way to find this delightful French farce. In some ways, La Chèvre is the kind of film that defies analysis; it's a high-concept film from the word go, the kind of film that either works or doesn't. La Chèvre works, and works beautifully, with all its pieces meshing together like a well-oiled machine. Certainly, Francis Veber's screenplay deserves a great deal of credit, for it takes the simple basic premise and finds endless variations, and Veber's astute comic direction manages to ensure that those variations build upon each other, rather than wearing each other out. He's enormously helped by his leading men, of course. Pierre Richard's contributions are obvious; he has impeccable comic timing and is a thorough expert at the kind of physical comedy that is demanded in La Chèvre. He also perfectly captures the character's egotism, keeping it real but also managing to make it endearing. Co-star Gérard Depardieu is his match every step of the way, even though his part by necessity relegates him to frequent straight-man status. Nevertheless, Depardieu provides the perfect counterpoint to Richard; without his reactions and frustration, Richard's antics would not score as heavily. Titanically inconsequential, La Chèvre is pure fun.
One the best, most serious detectives in France (Gérard Depardieu) is teamed up with a luckless stumble-bum (Pierre Richard) and sent off to Central America to search for the klutzy daughter of a powerful magnate in this fast-paced and funny French farce.