On aura tout vu

On aura tout vuSynopsis: A professional still photographer (Pierre Richard) has long wanted to make a movie from a story about love and politics. When the opportunity arises, he and his lady-love (Miou-Miou) are overjoyed. However, when the producer strongly urges that the movie be transformed into a hardcore pornographic feature, he is seriously tempted to give in, but his strong-willed girlfriend talks him out of it.


On aura tout vu 4.5

eyelights: the concept. the titles of the movies they are making.
eyesores: the sloppy writing. the contrived humour.

You know, I’m a fan of Pierre Richard. I have at least a dozen of his films: when I’m in the mood for a likeable, but goofy lead character, he comes to mind about as instantaneously as Peter Sellers does. And, although he has neither range nor the caliber of the latter, Richard has made a few rather enjoyable film, such as ‘Les Fugitifs‘, ‘Les Compères‘ and ‘La Chèvre‘.

Having said that, ‘On aura tout vu’ sucks big fat donkey balls.

Released in 1976, it tells the story of François, a commercial photographer who is so desperate to get into the movie business that he decides to sell his script to a porn producer – without his writing partner’s knowledge, and despite his girlfriend’s objections. From that point onward, he has to deal with various compromises and mounting conflicts in his quest for success.

It’s the kind of comedy that really irks me: it’s contrived and illogical – and, thus, patently unfunny. It depends wholly on the audience’s inability to smell the B.S. stinking up its inherently absurd situations, to buy into them like underdeveloped children with no critical thought. This works well with cartoon characters (ex: Wile E. Coyote), however, this depends on your characters remaining cartoons.

A major problem with ‘On aura tout vu’ is that it also tries to have a conscience, to make you think, to make you empathize. It wants its characters to grow. That’s a perfectly noble thing to do: humanize as you entertain. However, in its attempts to engage the audience, it makes it nigh impossible for any half-intelligent human being to then switch their brain off entirely. The humour would have had to be clever.

And it isn’t.

The opening sequence is indicative of everything that’s wrong with the picture. When we are introduced to him, over the opening credits, François is photographing a cheese advertisement. Before him, on a platform, lay dozens of different cheeses. Much to his dismay, a fly lands on a mound of soft cheese. Well, naturally, our hero grabs a tennis racket so as to swat the pesky insect.

Le sigh…

Firstly, someone even remotely meticulous about their work would never do such a thing; they would try to fan the insect away. Secondly, there is no surprise here: we all know what’s coming. However, humour often depends on the surprise factor. Thirdly, it’s worse than we’d imagine: François swats downward, exploding the cheese. And, after leaving a mess and trying to clean up, returns for a second attack.


It’s horrible, horrible stuff. The only plus to this sequence is that at least it prepares the audience for the film’s moronic brand of “comedy”. Thankfully, it doesn’t get worse, but it hardly gets any better, either, with ‘Three’s Company’-style misunderstandings taking the stage for much of it. Further marring the proceeding is how misguided and unsympathetic the hero can be, leading us to pity his girlfriend.

What’s surprising to me is that this load of dog poopee was written by Francis Veber, the man who wrote and/or directed Pierre Richard’s finest films and arguably some of France’s greatest and/or best loved comedies. ‘La Cage aux folles‘, ‘La Chèvre’, ‘Les Compères’, ‘Le Dîner de cons’, ‘Les Fugitifs’, ‘Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire‘, and ‘Le Jouet’ are just some of his successes. So what happened here?

Seriously, there are only three things that I really liked in ‘On aura tout vu’:

  1. The famous French comedy troupe Le Splendide is featured here: not only is the venue used and shown in full in one short sequence, but half of the comedians participate (Gerard Jugnot has a major part, while the other three have cameos)
  2. The names of the movies that the producers are making are absurdly obscene: François’ script changes from ‘Le miroir de l’âme’ (The Mirror of the Soul) to ‘La vaginale’ (do I need to translate this?). Too much. They’re also making a film called ‘Les Pipeuses’ (The Blowjobers).
  3. I kinda sorta like Miou-Miou, as Christine, François’ girlfriend: she’s cute, adorable. However, she affects a little girl voice and composure that is kind of grating. Perhaps it’s meant to make her seem girlish and/or vulnerable, but it feels contrived to me. Annoying.

Beyond that, ‘On aura tout vu’ is a waste of time. Fans of ‘Three’s Company’-style humour would likely enjoy this and, from that perspective, it’s well-made. But anyone wanting something even remotely more sophisticated need look elsewhere: this is moronic at best and potentially unpalatable to anyone won over by Christine, making it impossible to root for the film’s protagonist.

Skip it.

Dates of viewings: July 18 + 19, 2014

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