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UKScreen Rating:


Seventeenth century humorist Molière (Duris) has been taking his theatre troupe around the country, putting on comedy shows, but what he really wants to do is serious drama.
When the king offers him his own theatre, he returns to Paris, confident that he’ll be able to persuade the royals to watch some tragedies, but they’re not interested – it’s comedy or nothing.
But all his plans are thrown into disarray when he’s arrested, during a show, because he’s failed to pay a debt. A mysterious visitor, the wealthy Jourdain (Luchini), offers to bail him out, but there are conditions attached.
In exchange for his freedom, Molière has to teach Jourdain how to write poetry, to help him woo a beautiful but self-important heiress, Célimène (Sagnier).
Nothing, of course, goes to plan, for any of them, with the final mess proving to be inspiration for one of Molière’s best pieces of work.


This is the kind of film the French do so well – a witty, colourful, extravagant, sharp, full period comedy.
It’s in the same ball-park as such films as Ridicule.
With infidelity all round, it’s not too sure whether it wants to be a sex farce or a concentrate on the power of words. Both elements have been done better in other films, but this does quite well to combine the two.
The plot is generally rather outlandish, but the film springs along at a bright pace, and there’s always something to catch you eye – whether in the costumes and sets or the dialogue and performances.
The man of modern French cinema, Duris continues to impress, with the hapless Fabrice Luchini particularly strong in support.
The film successfully hits more comic notes than emotional ones, making it a thoroughly enjoyable piece of cinema, without necessarily being completely satisfying.

Opens nationwide 13th July 2007



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