The Cabbage Soup (1981)
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The beauty of that film comes before all from the greay quality of the actors and of their interpretation. And it's true not only for Louis de Funès, but also for Jean Carmet and Jacques Villeret. It's surely because of the quality of the direction of Jean Girauld, on the one hand and the dragging of the quality of play of that tremendous actor who was Louis de Funès on the other hand.
I have seen that film about fifty times at least, and I feel the need to see it again about three to four times a year. Each time I like it and never find it vulgar, because it's necessary to be highter than the apparent vulgarity of certain scenes. Never forget that everyone can, at a time in his life do some scenes like these, and we should not feel ashamed to do that, it's all and completely human. It's precisely what the film is, very human, and it explains the attachment we have for it. Even if the film is a little budget one, it's one of the best of that great actor who was Louis de Funès.
French cinematic history. I am not sure, however, whether it would have any success outside France. Is it known elsewhere under another title which I suppose would be " Cabbage Soup " ???
In many ways, his second-to-last film was one of the most unusual de-Funes-Films. For one, the viewer can intrinsically tell, that De Funes was a very sick man; somebody who's at the end of his road, yet still summoning up his strength to give us the usual over-the-top, hyper-ventilating performance for which he was known and loved. Despite this being a "typical" de-Funes-Film, there are very strong, melancholic moments (especially those involving farmer Claude and his resurrected wife Franchine or the when Claude is reminiscing about past days), which was very rare for the typical de-Funes-film. What was also very atypical was the electro-sound-music that at times reminds of Jean-Michel Jarre. Some people have complained that the soundtrack wasn't fitting. Matter of personal taste really, but I dare you to look up the title-song on YouTube and not have the tune, be it the original or one of the many covers, stuck in the back of your head for a long time to come.
In essence, all slapstick and de Funes hyper-conundrum aside, it is a movie about people longing for simpler, "down to earth" (paradoxically) times, when you could still enjoy the starlit, countryside-sky with a friend, getting drunk on wine and Pastis (and, yes, not to mention the fart-tournaments between de Funes and Carmet, which goes beyond the contemporary "laugh because somebody farted"-joke). One of the films highlights is the scene where de Funes introduces his alien friend into the "art" of eating his homemade cabbage soup watch it and tell me honestly to the face that it doesn't make you long for a bowl and a piece of bread, whether you like cabbage or not. Is this movie vulgar? Sure thing it is. Dishonest? Quiet the opposite. Makes one almost feel a little guilty writing this over the internet. Sure, those times aren't coming back, but that's what movies are for, no? One can honestly say: they don't make films like this anymore. I tend to ignore the last De-Funes-film ("Le gendarme et les gendarmettes"), thinking of "La Soup aux choux" as the final farewell from this master-comedian, as if to say: hey, no matter how tough things get, face them with a mischievous grin; what comes will come, but it will come more smoothly with a glass of Pastis and a bowl of home-made cabbage soup.
Mind you: this is by no means an objective review but I personally give it 9 out of 10.
The best De Funes film, quite different from the usual bulk.
It is my favourite movie with Louis de Funès next to "L'Aile ou la cuisse". He seems to be born for such a role playing a grumpy old man.