Just Visiting

Bomb Rating: 

Mention American remakes of French films, and all I can think about is that disastrous abomination featuring Tim Allen and the jungle boy. I can't even remember what it was called -- can anyone? Anyway, I think Tim Allen ended up cooking the young boy and feeding the meat to his family because somebody at Disney mistranslated the French word for "coconut."

If anyone understands how it's possible to conclude that a film unappealing to Americans the first time around would suddenly galvanize audiences simply because it eliminates the subtitles, please submit your thesis to me via email. I will forward it to Michael Eisner after I've wiped my ass with it. "Just Visiting" features a 12th century French nobleman, Count Thibault of Malfete (Jean Reno), and his servant, Andre (Christian Clavier), transported to modern times by a clumsy wizard (Malcolm McDowell). In the 21st century, they meet Thibault's descendant, Julia Malfete (Christina Applegate), who helps them return to their own time.

Naturally, there's scene after scene of Count Thibault and Andre trying to figure out the workings of modern devices. Watch as Count Thibault and Andre endlessly amuse themselves with a light switch. Watch as Count Thibault and Andre wash themselves in a toilet. Watch as Andre struggles to get out of a car. Ask yourself: If you were suddenly transported into the 30th century, would you be so stupid as to touch and prod everything without first asking somebody how it worked?

It's rare that a film like this earns special mention for its editing, but this case is an exception. The editing was abysmal. I felt like I was watching a television show that was being interrupted by power outages. Also, has Christina Applegate undergone some sort of personality-ectomy, or was she always that vanilla? If that girl were any duller, her eyeballs would flash advertisements.

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