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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.62%
Worth A Look: 5.77%
Average: 13.46%
Pretty Bad: 28.85%
Total Crap42.31%

5 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Just Visiting
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by Erik Childress

"Say It Isn't So! A Worse Comedy Than That?"
1 stars

French people are idiots. They must be. At least the majority must be. Or maybe it’s the American filmmakers who decide that because a French movie goes on to outgross Jurassic Park and become the biggest moneymaker of all time in the land of rude and smelly, then it will surely mount a serious challenge to Titanic in the land of the free. After all, it’s got subtitles, so it must obviously be high art compared to all those poo-poo/pee-pee films smelling of day old farts that we produce. But it’s not. It’s just a big pile of crap with a urine chaser.

We open the port-a-potty in the 12th century with a narration from Kelsey Grammar. (I suppose since his wife suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome that he’d instantly fit in.) He talks about how noble Count Thibault (Jean Reno) is and how he treats his peasant servant André (Christian Clavier) worse than Leona Helmsley during that time of the month. There are also bad men who plot to sabotage Thibault’s wedding by inducing him to think that his lovely bride is a hideous beast. They could have simply gotten hold of the casting directors and told them to forget about Applegate and cast Camryn Manheim.

But thankfully they didn’t and we get to watch as Christina is substituted with a face full of vegetables that would have V-gans praying for Hoof-&-Mouth Disease. Thibault is then sent to his room for slicing his vegetables instead of eating them and, in error, is sent into the future, with his idiot sidekick, to escape grim death. Unfortunately, the audience isn’t so lucky.

What follows is the kind of different time/different place culture shock that might have been funny back in the eighties just as a concept. But when a concept goes stale, the more it stinks. And that’s all Just Visiting is, a concept, one which would seemed to be aimed at kids, but is slightly more rancid because of its “PG-13” rating. (The original “Les Visiteurs” was rated “R” in 1993.) That means that this was originally an “adult” comedy and then remade into a more “audience-friendly” PG-13?

So, let us look at the sophisticated level of French humor on display. Unable to control a bout of motion sickness in a vehicle going 23 mph on the expressway, Thibault and Andre puke all over the car. When shown around the kitchen of their new shelter, they eat dog food, play with the light switch, slip on ice cubes, break all kinds of things and cause a green health shake to decorate the face of their host. Hold on a second, I have to stop writing because my stomach is hurting with laughter.

OK, where were we? Oh yeah, Thibault and Andre stink. Seriously, they apparently stink worse than year-old milk in a vomitorium. What do you expect, they’re French. So, they first wash themselves in the toilet before finally discovering the tub (with their clothes on) and pour huge bottles of perfume on their heads. You don’t need subtitles to see how funny that is, do you? Still not laughing? How about the way Andre constantly introduces himself by saying “I’ve got big balls” or “I piss on you”? Stop, I’m gonna crap my pants, I’m laughing so hard. Aren’t you laughing? I just said “crap my pants.”

I have never heard such a silence at the screening room before. Nobody was laughing. Nobody laughed, period. I heard more laughs at the theater when I went to see “Schindler’s List.” Not even the end credits could bring a smile from anyone. We just as well could have gone out on the street and smoked a cigarette to rob 90 minutes from our lives. About the only thing worth complimenting is how good the city of Chicago looks in this film. It’s the first time I can even remember seeing my alma mater, Columbia College, on the big screen. But this film is in no way a compliment to Chicago.

None of the actors can escape embarrassment here. Jean Reno is great (in other movies) and we can hold Christian Clavier responsible for both versions of this mess as one of the co-writers. Christina Applegate better pray for another television series and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras gets to writhe around on a table promising to play with a guy’s balls, I assume to feel a sense of equality with her real-life husband. And what the hell is Malcolm McDowell doing in this movie? Probably to remind us that he too was once forced to watch horrible images A Clockwork Orange-style.

It’s almost no surprise that one of the credited screenwriters of this remake is John Hughes, a writer who hasn’t had an original thought since the eighties. Tip to John: If you saw it on America’s Funniest Home Videos, that doesn’t automatically translate to hysteria at the theater. Characters farting in a fancy restaurant is more wince-inducing than kneeslapping. It’s not even as funny as the similar scene over 20 years ago in The Blues Brothers and they were able to get laughs without passing gas. Just Visiting is like going out to eat, being handed the check first and then told to leave with a rampant case of incurable indigestion. After seeing it, you’ll wonder how the French got so cultured by appreciating Jerry Lewis. And just think how hard I was a couple of weeks ago when I called “Say It Isn’t So” the worst comedy of the year.

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originally posted: 04/07/01 04:42:26
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User Comments

10/27/14 Count Godefroy Of Montmirail, Duke Of Papincourt Absolutely fantastic!!! well done my fellow countrymen 5 stars
5/09/07 bobbyjoe i wanted to throw up it was so bad. 1 stars
3/10/07 diane i laughed so hard, i thought that i was goiing to die, other's have no sense of humour 5 stars
1/03/05 Feliciano go to hell people, this movies is hilarious!!! 5 stars
8/09/04 Miriam Not aa patch on the original. Jean Reno and Christian Clavier are this film's only saving g 2 stars
3/02/04 Cj Im really sorry, i seem to be the only person who fell in love with this movie! 5 stars
4/15/03 Jack Bourbon Um, I liked this movie. *I do drink a lot, though. "Hang dim een duh ton squayahhh!!!" 4 stars
1/07/03 Colin Foster Oh dear!!! 3 stars
12/22/02 Pigwidgeon I thought it really only earned four stars, but I gave it five just to spite the snobs. 5 stars
4/03/02 Jake Movie has a good plot and was funny to see the two guys messing around in Chicago! Not bad. 3 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Cute. Not much of a plot. Not much in the way of acting. 3 stars
1/02/02 Andrew Carden The Movie Was Unfunny, but It Wasn't THAT Bad. 3 stars
10/31/01 hilary average 3 stars
4/23/01 Becky You need to see the french movie it was based upon, that was excellent and hysterical. 3 stars
4/16/01 Erin Agreeing with Rick here, it was one of the few movies worth what I spent to see it. 4 stars
4/16/01 Rampage boring as hell, this was a waste of money 1 stars
4/13/01 Blake "The Bitch" Ward It's sucks terribly. However, they said bad things about bunnys. Big Plus. 2 stars
4/11/01 Chris Myst An embarrassing piece of shambles. Why, Reno, why??? 1 stars
4/10/01 wolvie This movie just blows. No if's, and's, or but's about it. 1 stars
4/09/01 Rick To the commentator... Get over yourself, the movie was a lighthearted way to spend a 2hrs 4 stars
4/07/01 TimmyToday It's missing the american Helen Hunt! What crap! 2 stars
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  06-Apr-2001 (PG)



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