by Greg Muskewitz
"Just Visiting," not to be confused with Jason Alexander's "Just Looking," is a remake of an unknown French movie "Les Visiteurs," is about a royal knight (Jean Reno) and his idiotic servant (Christian Clavier) who are accidentally transported to our times (April 2000, to be exact, according to a calendar) from their medieval times.The reasoning for all this balderdash? Reno, who was to marry a princess of an important family (Christina Applegate), accidentally kills her when he drinks some poison intended for her. Therefore, an English wizard with the ability to bring them back in time to prevent the event, they end up instead here in America. There's plenty of ogling and drooling over the modernity of everything, from cars to phones to Chanel No. 5. And give the duo the opportunity, and they'll try it all. Expect plenty of stupid humor, the bodily type, the type where adults act like they think children act, the type where everything is sensationalized and excessive.
We're supposed to believe that there's a moral in all this, delivered through Applegate's other role, a distant descendant from Reno's family, where her boyfriend attempts to usufruct her family's estate and castle. That's where the movie should have ended: the second they arrived. Applegate is supposed to be a great-great-great-great (etc.) grand-daughter of his, but that's impossible considering that if he were to have randomly disappeared following the murder of the original Applegate, this Applegate never would have been conceived. She never would have been born. Therefore, everything about the family was a falsification, a lie, a cheap trick to make an even cheaper movie. The plot just goes anywhere and everywhere and allows plenty of mishaps and ridiculous stunts, but none of it is fun or cute. It's just dumb and senseless.
"Just Visiting" was also directed by the French director Jean-Marie Gaubert, who mocks and ridicules everything French. This is the kind of detrimental cinematic mess that Agnes Jaoui was referring to when I interviewed her, and at least where Gaubert does use a French crew and French actors and French screenwriters (not to mention John Hughes!) there is no patriotism there --this is clearly an American production. So it looks bad on both the English and the French. But the fact that no one here even spoke a word of French, not a merci or a au revoir, is never justified.
With Matthew Ross, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Malcolm McDowell, and a horribly flighty, artificial, rancid role by Tara Reid. For more of the same, she her deconstruction of Melanie in "Josie and the Pussycats."Final Verdict: D-.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4928&reviewer=172
originally posted: 04/11/01 15:19:58