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Foreign Comedy - France - Alexandre le Bienheureux


Alexandre le Bienheureux
Philippe Noiret, Marlene Jobert, Francoise Brion
Directed by Yves Robert
French language only
Originally released 1968
Chrystal Films 2006
97 minutes

Alexandre le Bienheureux is one of my all-time favorite comedies and it is finally available on DVD. This French comedy stars screen legend Philippe Noiret (Les Ripoux, Le Vieux Fusil) as Alexandre, a French farmer who would like nothing more than to take it easy in life. Unfortunately, he is married to La Grande (Francoise Brion) who has her husband under her thumb. When La Grande has an accident, Alexandre finally gets to do what he has always wanted to do: nothing.

This French comedy praises the ability to take life as it comes, smell the roses or carrot flowers, and live day to day. Alexandre le Bienheureux also takes its time to tell its story which begins really when La Grande is gone and Philippe Noiret's character gets to rest as much as he wants. He becomes the talk of the village and the envy of the local men.

However, after a while this is unacceptable for the villagers who mount a rebellion against the once most productive man in the village. They think they have won the battle when they finally convince Alexandre le bienheureux to get out of bed but it is only to enjoy life better.

The comedy in Alexandre le Bienheureux, finally on DVD, comes first from the struggle between Alexandre and his wife's constant heckling. It also comes from the many mechanisms Alexandre sets up so he does not have to leave his bed if he doesn't want to. You certainly enjoy life along with the main character when, widowed, he finally gets to do what he has always wanted to do: nothing.

The movie co-stars a very, very clever dog whose many abilities allow his master to sleep and sleep some more before taking time out to enjoy life.  It also stars Marlene Jobert as Agathe, a clerk in the local grocery store who becomes interested in Alexandre.

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