Pierre Richard is one of the great French physical comedians. The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe is his most celebrated film. Le Jouet / The Toy is a close second. Film Movement had the brilliant idea to perfectly restore and re-release this classic comedy on Blu-ray. If you like physical comedy, slapstick, and the absurd and want to see something really really funny, this is the movie for you. It comes in French with English subtitles.
The head of a French spy agency believes Bernard Milan, his number two is up to something. He has his right hand man set up a trap –there is no real translation for “piege a cons”-- to both unmask and embarrass Milan and his crew. The trap is brilliantly simple: Have him follow a nobody with the belief this nobody knows something. Out of a crowd of passengers at Orly Airport Francois Perrin (Pierre Richard) is picked to be that nobody.
Part of the laughs come from Richard being brilliant at physical comedy. This is enhanced by director Yves Robert eye and ear for the comically absurd. The set-up itself is funny enough but the whole spy versus spy thing is hilarious. One good example of the absurdly funny is a scene early on where spies break into Francois Perrin's apartment to find out everything about him and one agent spends his time opening Matryoshka dolls. Another is the scene where the spies are listening in to Perrin's romantic encounter: you can see the phallic stalk of a plant in the spies' flower truck vibrate to the sounds being overheard.
Also, anything a normal person does in the course of a day will look suspicious to those who believe it is suspicious.
Things get crazier and crazier and reach a very funny climax.
The problem with the previews on Film Movement releases is they make you want to see the movie.
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