Le soupirant (1962) is a French movie. Pierre Étaix has directed this movie. France Arnel,Pierre Étaix,Laurence Lignières,Claude Massot are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1962. Le soupirant (1962) is considered one of the best Comedy movie in India and around the world.
Pierre is a shy man whose sole focus in life is studying astrology in solitude, which is often difficult since he still lives at and studies in his parent's house. His parent's would rather he date and get married. He takes on this task with verve. Not knowing how to approach women in a romantic way, he watches how other men operate and tries to emulate them, most often without success. He ends up attracting the one woman he doesn't really want, a fun loving woman named Laurence who lives next door, but he becomes obsessed with Stella, a singer he sees on television. He believes her love song is being sung directly to him. As Pierre tries to get away from Laurence while pursuing Stella, he may miss the perfect match who may be right under his nose.
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Etaix proves himself the true heir to Buster Keaton in this, his first feature. This is just a fantastic series of escalating gags. It's just a pure joy to watch, from beginning to last. Everything works, and the laughs just build and build. Etaix stars as an idle young man (he was in his mid-30s at the time the film was made). His parents tell him it's time to find a wife and get the Hell out of their house. Etaix doesn't know a thing about courting women. At first he tries observing the many smooth operators across Paris, but, whenever he tries to copy them, it comes off as disastrous (a lot of resemblance to Keaton's Seven Chances in this portion of the film). The film launches into the stratosphere when Etaix finally meets a willing woman, Laurence Ligneres, and wishes he hadn't. Ligneres is the single most annoying woman in existence, with an enormous, obnoxious laugh, the immediate expectations that Etaix should drop all kinds of cash on her whims, and a penchant for getting pass-out drunk. Ligneres is so perfect. You want to run her over with your car, but, speaking as a viewer, she's really funny at being that annoying, as opposed to just being annoying to watch. For Etaix it is a different story, and his deadpan attempts to get rid of her are hysterical. The final part of the film has Etaix falling head over heals in love with a famous songstress (France Arnel), and he goes to great lengths to get backstage to see her. For fans of silent comedies, this is a must-see. It couldn't exactly play as a silent - Ligneres eardrum piercing laugh would be lost if it were - but the gags are very reminiscent of Keaton's and Chaplin's, while still feeling fresh. It's not as ambitious as what Tati was doing, but it's pretty much perfect.
I was lucky enough to see twice this excellent film -and YOYO- in Buenos Aires, 20 years ago. Two main influences can be traced down in this film, which is like a great homage to silent comedies: first, of course, as Etaix himself put it, that of Buster Keaton (SEVEN CHANCES, SPITE MARRIAGE, CAMERAMAN), but also, it must be said, that of Harry Langdon (TRAMP, TRAMP, TRAMP & LONG PANTS). Just see and compare, for instance: the scene when the hero carries upstairs in his arms, step by step, the fainted woman (LONG PANTS); his difficulties to manage her body and to put her to bed (SPITE MARRIAGE); the hero driven mad by amour fou, covering the walls of his room with the photos of her girl (TRAMP, TRAMP, TRAMP), following her (CAMERAMAN), etc.
This French slapstick farce seems to have disappeared from the Earth, which is a shame since I remember it as extremely funny and well made (I saw it as a teenager at a film festival in the mid-sixties). It's a remake of the Buster Keaton silent feature "Seven Chances," about a shy young man who must get married within a few days in order to inherit a fortune. This version is partially an homage to the silent cinema, but has a lot of Gallic touches as well, including some Brigette Bardot jokes. There was another remake in the late nineties called "The Bachelor," which I haven't seen but understand was pretty bad. I hope someone will bring "The Suitor" out on DVD someday so we all can have a chance to enjoy it. Update 2013: This movie has finally reemerged in a restored version that was shown on TCM in April 2013. On seeing it again, it was even better than I remembered it from decades earlier. Not only was it a superb homage to silent comedy, I also thought it anticipated some of the wackiness of Richard Lester and Monty Python, and the innovative use of sound made me think of Robert Altman. A unique and very entertaining film. Don't miss it if you get a chance to see it.
Recently, Turner Classic Movies showed a bunch of films by Pierre Étaix--the first time they've been seen in this country in decades. Because the films have been tied up in legal disputes, most Americans have no idea who Étaix is--and I was quite curious. So, I recorded them and have watched them over the last few weeks. "The Suitor" is the last of his films they showed--and so I have come to the conclusion that his films, for me, are only modestly funny. If you like the films of Jacques Tati (which I don't), then you'll probably like the droll films of Pierre Étaix. When the film begins, you see that Pierre is a nerdy guy who spends most of his times studying astronomy. His parents are concerned--he's getting older and should settle down and get married. The problem is that he is socially inept--though he is willing. Throughout much of the film, the character wanders about Paris--watching men picking up women and then he tries to imitate them. In every case, it's a disaster and I really, really liked the lipstick bit. However, some of the subplots went on WAY too long--particularly the obnoxious lady who laughs too loudly. Much of the film was very subtle and done much like a silent movie--but she didn't fit in at all. A little of her might have worked--using her as much as they did was, in my opinion, a mistake. She was funny but after a while she was just annoying--and NOT in a good way. For me, this is a decent film but one that didn't excite me. However, it is important to note that many people LOVE Jacques Tati and Jerry Lewis--and these folks would probably love this film.