I have to be honest: when I proposed this idea of classification to the thinking heads of the editorial staff this Friday, February 3, I was thinking of asking a freelancer to take care of the stuff. I had only seen two films by the Philippe Lacheau gang, including Babysitting when it was released (nearly 10 years ago now) and Super-heroes despite himself. I am not a great specialist in French comedy, and tended to draw conclusions from the last film I had seen of them — that is to say, I found this cinema particularly bad and I took top all this clique. But deciding to take my responsibilities, not wanting to devolve this heavy task to a person supposed to lay such a ranking in just a few days, I decided to roll up my sleeves. And to catch up on the eight movies I hadn’t seen, in just three days. So after losing a few hours of sleep and a few life points that I’ll never get back, I can finally boast of having seen all the movies from the Band to Fifi. These viewings allow me to grasp the elements that are an integral part of each film (you have to hurt a dog or a cat, make unsubtle schoolboy jokes, show your buttocks at a time, find a central misunderstanding that leads to a story of love at the end) and to see an evolution in the making of films: we clearly feel that after Nicky Larson, there is a desire to have a more muscular and more cinematic direction. A funny thing happened, quite unexpected: I took a liking to them. For (almost) the whole gang. Maybe it affected the viewing of some films, but I understood what audiences find in these films that are certainly not incredible, but which work. The staging is rarely captivating, neither is the writing of the valves, the editing is often complicated, some effects can be disastrous, some valves are quite simple… And yet, it works.See also on KonbiniIt works because we finish by appreciating these troublemakers. The band effect works and makes us attach a minimum to them. Some characters are better written than others. And also, a good part of this band (Élodie Fontan in the lead) plays quite well and we believe in their story. My snobbery aside, let’s get down to this classification. My nascent respect may be sincere, but it doesn’t prevent most of these films from being good films. Even if some are far above the others. On the occasion of the release of Alibi.com 2, here is our ranking (objective) of the 10 films of La Bande à Fifi.10. Marry Me My Buddy, by Tarek Boudali (2017) The most complicated. And by far. The worst part is that no doubt when they wrote this screenplay, they said to themselves that they were going to make a progressive film. It sucks — besides not being funny, not being very well written, and not being staged at all. A good last in the ranking.9. Paris à tout prix, by Reem Kherici (2013) When we think of La Bande à Fifi, we kind of forget that film, the first of the clique. The film by Franco-Italian-Tunisian director Reem Kherici is not the best known. In any case, he is not one that ordinary mortals see again. So the memory of your vintage viewing may lead you to believe that it is not bad. Ten years later, some of the jokes are more than dated — even if a sexual assault was never a proper joke. The scenario is more than cliché, never frankly funny or moving. There remains Tarek Boudali, the only positive point, who has a surprisingly much subtle game and more restraint than what he was able to offer later. Not enough to save the film so far.8. D-Day, by Reem Kherici (2017) Less focused on having a gag every 30 seconds, the film is intrinsically less funny. Anyway, that’s not what it was made for. This does not take away from the awkwardness of certain situations or the involuntary cringe. This film may well be the most feel good of the selection, but some heavy topics mentioned (not the most subtly) do nothing to help you not roll your eyes at the writing of this budding love story. Not hateful, not a good time either.7. 30 days max, by Tarek Boudali (2020) We will never really know: maybe chaining these films makes us lose our cinematographic palate, but maybe we had a not too bad time in front of this one . Thing is, some of the stunts weren’t too badly done, and the narrative just about works — and is one of the least problematic. Does it deserve to be ranked higher? No.6. Superhero despite himself, by Philippe Lacheau (2022) The memory of this session is still painful. However, we feel a real desire to make real action sequences, to parody the genre. The problem is that for once, it is really more cheap. Voluntarily, but too much. Where Nicky Larson works a little, for a more or less equivalent budget, here, everything rings false. Too false to believe in it and to have to believe in it. And that’s not to mention the heaviness of some valves.5. Alibi.com 2, by Philippe Lacheau (2023) The film may feel a little warmed up, but it works a little despite everything. So yes, everything goes too far, the situations are too coarse to succeed in becoming comical, it’s repetitive, it’s the misunderstanding as winded as possible. But we find ourselves laughing at a joke about Gandhi, being “impressed” by a not silly little staging effect on a three-way phone call in bed, being vaguely surprised for a few seconds by the end (we guess quickly, but all the same). Maybe it’s because it’s the only one seen in theaters, maybe it’s because it was coming to the end of the marathon. We are the first surprised, but we did not hate.4. Babysitting 2, by Nicolas Benamou and Philippe Lacheau (2015)While it retains only the found footage device from the first, abandoning the party aspect where you forget what you have done, the film remains one of least obnoxious of the band. Even if it is only a kif between friends, which never really exceeds this status of kif between friends, it remains a passably effective entertainment. Alibi.com, by Philippe Lacheau (2017) Misunderstanding, the film. Strangely, this is perhaps one of the least worst. There are (rare) jokes that work (we admit having laughed at the gags of Assassin’s Creed, the kid on the beach who gets expensive and François Hollande, for example), ideas that are not necessarily bad on paper , even if they don’t all work (Nathalie Baye and Didier Bourdon who sing on a contemporary piece, we understand the idea, but we are still uncomfortable). There are others that are really complicated, useless or even a tad problematic, not to mention the fact that on the acting side, it’s sometimes really off the mark. It is all the more unfortunate that Philippe Lacheau integrates into his story a sense of parody that is quite referenced and really not detestable. Note that this is the first who will have managed to get us a frank and honest laugh. Faced with the rest of the competition, this remains the top of the basket.2. Nicky Larson and the Perfume of Cupid, Philippe Lacheau (2018)We were rather hesitant about this film, and it is clear that it is the most ambitious film of the bunch — which is good when, as the author of these words, we make a “Fifi marathon”. There is a real desire for cinema, to try to make action cinema. Well, okay, it’s mostly via combat where the camera follows the blows and a sequence filmed in the first person. But it’s already better than many action comedies made in France. Despite everything, the film takes up a lot of the codes of the manga – with all the heaviness that accompanies the character of Nicky Larson, and certain gags managed to make us laugh a minimum.1. Babysitting, by Nicolas Benamou and Philippe Lacheau (2014)Our moral honesty forces us to tell the truth: we haven’t seen the film again, unlike the rest of this ranking, which we binged in just a few days. Suddenly, it is the almost adolescent memory of a film which, by aping Project X, revealed a group of friends who were to become (whether we like it or not) important in cinema. Sure, it’s aged badly, it’s not as fun as it was nine years ago. Babysitting remains the cornerstone of this entire ranking, this band and what it is today.
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