It’s been ages since I enjoyed a movie and I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer if “Twice Upon a Time” is the best that comedy can offer at the moment. Here we have two countries, England and France, who are famous for their contribution to the world of cinema and they managed to create a boring flop.
“They don’t make movies like they used to” may be the old saying but actually they do make movies like they used to…over and over again. You know the sort of thing I mean. Rambo One, Two, Three and so on until Infinity.
We get “Pride and Prejudice” Mark One and then another version every few years or so, when some director says “Hey, we haven’t massacred Jane Austen for a while. So let’s do her and cast a most inappropriate and anachronistic heroine such as the reed-like Keira Knightley. (better get in quick before she disappears altogether) —Never mind that no Nineteenth Century heroine would ever allow herself to look like our famished Keira.
And as for plots, they are hashed and rehashed until originality is regarded as a no-no. Since the big film companies have been taken over by the financial experts, film production is done to a formula and that formula is very weary.
So along comes a French comedy and I hold out some hope that we will enjoy Gallic subtlety, nuances, clever dialogue, interesting character development and many chuckles.
But no, the plot is tired. Two older people who had been in love thirty years ago are forced to reunite for an event. The woman (played by Charlotte Rampling) who is now married to someone else, the gay Lord Gaylord (I kid you not) doesn’t want to see her former lover, Louis (overacted by Jean Rochefort) who has an overactive libido as well.
Any way, for the sake of the plot they do get together and then the bickering begins. “You did this” and “No I didn’t”, like two children in a sandpit. I waited for the sparks to fly, the ripostes, the witty exchanges, but alas, the plot sickened and was embarrassing by its predictability.
There are two running jokes in the film, one about the fall of Saigon and the other a snoring bulldog called Winston who suffers from flatulence. There are countless jokes about gays and farting. So tedious are they that I thought I was watching one of those Dumb and Dumber movies. At least they don’t pretend to be witty.
When the bulldog farted in Louis’ direction, I broke down and wept for the demise of French comedy. But the fun didn’t end there. Louis the Lecher dropped a little blue pill on the floor and guess who swallowed it by mistake? Yep, one flatulent dog. I winced at the contrivance and lost my will to live as all the viagra jokes reared their ugly heads.
What puzzles me most of all, is why two famous actors such as Charlotte Rampling and Jean Rochefort agreed to act in it. Well, it can’t have been for the glory and I can’t imagine there’s much money in it either. But then there’s so much dross around in the cinema world that perhaps they simply went with the flow.