Mystery in St. Tropez, the surreal side of the French Riviera

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Private pool, lots of friends and bubbles: the recipe for a summer of pure relaxation is served. Or at least that’s what the French billionaire Baron Croissant thinks (and yes, the name is already a whole program), but something goes wrong in his villa on the Côte d’Azur and, with a domino effect, the uproar breaks out. It starts like this the delightful comedy Mystery in Saint-Tropezset in 1970, with a Gérard Depardieu in a state of grace.

What was supposed to be an elegant and exclusive party, between producers, tycoons and movie stars, turns into target practice when the man and his wife Elaine risk their lives several times due to suspicious incidents to say the least.

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Here then is that the rich protagonist (played by Benoît Poelvoorde) resorts to powerful friendships to be able to resolve the case in a discreet and delicate way: the minister Jacques Chirac (Dépardieu), his great friend, plumbs the ranks of the police to send him a first-rate detective. Unfortunately, thanks to the summer holidays, the only one available is the clumsy Commissioner Botta (Christian Clavier)already with one foot outside the police door because it is close to the pension.

For the occasion he was infiltrated – with disastrous results – as a butler / waiter, in an already folkloric and badly matched staff. Perpetually distracted, as well as clumsy, the man rings a series of endless troubles.

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From time to time the demented surrealism leaves room for some social criticism, which traces the years of female emancipation. “We are in 1970 – blurts out one of the guests – you can own a car, not a woman”.

In the villa you find yourself struggling with various types of hypertrophic ego, from that of the capricious starlet to that of the unfaithful producer. And, between boat trips and themed parties, accidents multiply at a fast pace. Suspicion begins to spread and the guests don’t feel so comfortable in what appeared to be a bubble of debauchery and lust until recently.

Halfway between Peter Sellers’ version of Inspector Clouseau and Massimo Lopez’s (in the reinterpretation of The betrothed of the trio with Tullio Solenghi and Anna Marchesini), Botta resorts to unorthodox and often illogical methods, but in his hyperactive mind they always make sense.

The interaction between the characters is absolutely hilarious and the presence of Rossy De Palma, Pedro Almodovar’s muse (Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown), looks like the icing on the cake of a well-assorted and irresistible cast.

It’s the perfect comedy for a carefree, irreverent summer without too many headaches.

Other Vanity Fair stories that may interest you:

Harry and Meghan, the distance from William and Kate

Meghan Markle and Harry sometimes come back

Prince Harry on children and the web

Source: Vanity Fair

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