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When their little cheat fails, Alain and Jean Pierre fail their final high-school exams in English. Their parents deny them their planned vacation to the French Riviera and send them instead to Ramsgate in England, to improve their English. However many other parents had the same idea, so they meet more of their own than English folks and end up more at beach parties than in class. Only with the girls they seem to have no luck, although they desperately try...Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Not to be taken seriously, light-hearted entertainment.
Having seen this film several times and enjoyed it, I would say it has relevance if you have been on a linguistic holiday or met people that have done just that. Filmed for the most part in Ramsgate, Kent, United Kingdom with a mixture of young French and British actors / actresses, the film deals with the trials and tribulations of young French kids going to the UK for a linguistic holiday. Whereas "L'Auberge Espagnole" ( which dealt with the same theme ) has mature adolescents as the main characters, this film is about real kiddies and is much cuter than " Auberge ". Also it was made many years previously so there are no lewd passages or bad language. This makes it more of a pleasure to watch. The atmosphere of the UK at the time is well rendered and many young French schoolchildren will be able to identify with their compatriots in the film. It appears the film was VERY successful in France in 1976 when it came out.
The title of the film is rather misleading, as our young friends have little success chatting up English girls and end up with other French girls ! But the original intention was to chat up the young Brits ( and thereby to presumably improve their standard of spoken English ).
As often happens during these kind of linguistic holidays, the kids tend to regroup with others from their own country, thereby reducing the need to speak a foreign language ! That of course is contrary to the aim of such a holiday but it is a hard fact !! The music used, notably that of Mort(imer) Schuman is very good and a whold generation of young French people know the film and remember it through this music.
As an Englishman living in France, I find all that rather amusing and making for good light entertainment. I haven't the foggiest idea whether the film is known in the UK but, as someone knowing what makes the British laugh, I would not see it as having much success on that side of the Channel ! Though it may bring back pleasant ( or perhaps less pleasant ) memories for British families who have welcomed foreign kids for summer courses. I have seen very few comments on imdb for the film so presume it is not too well known outside France !
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