EmptyPARIS -- With "Disco," shlock humor specialist Fabien Onteniente teams up again with stand-up comedian Franck Dubosc hoping for a repeat of their 2006 hit "Camping," which clocked up 4.5 million ticket sales. He is likely to be disappointed. The earlier film's reputation may attract moderate business at home, but even the presence of big-name stars such as Gerard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Beart fails to add luster to this pedestrian affair. Overseas prospects look dim.
When unemployed no-hoper Didier Travolta (Dubosc), or Graindorge to give him his real name, learns that his estranged English wife is refusing to send his son to visit him for the summer unless he can guarantee him a proper holiday, he sees a glimmer of hope when local club-owner Jean-Francois Jackson (Depardieu) organizes a disco contest. First prize is two plane tickets to Australia.
Didier, a former disco champion, tracks down his dance-floor teammates Walter (Samuel Le Bihan), now a trade union leader, and Neuneuil (Abbes Zahmani), a salesman with an electrical goods chainstore, and persuades them to reform their trio, the Bee Kings -- the name chosen in tribute to the Bee Gees, he proudly notes. First, of course, they will need knocking back into shape, so Didier recruits a classical dance instructor, France Navarre (Beart), to put them through their routines.
Given these beginnings, an averagely talented 101 class in screenwriting could probably write the rest of the script and come up with what we see on the screen, give or take minor details. The humor is laid on with a trowel, and the implausibilities come thick and fast.
Spectators may wonder what on earth an attractive dancing instructor could possibly see in a smirking, posturing and distinctly graceless lumpen-prole whose saving virtue is his heart of gold. And the dancing, whether Dubosc's disco gyrations or Beart's supposedly classical variety, is entirely unconvincing.
In short, as a Gallic version of "The Full Monty," "Disco" does not have a lot going for it. Spectators who still thrill to the sound of Boney M, Donna Summer and Gloria Gaynor will be in their element though. Veteran movie composer Michel Legrand, no less, is credited with the original score.
Director: Fabien Onteniente
Writers: Fabien Onteniente, Philippe Guillard, Franck Dubosc, Emmanuel Booz
Director of photography: Jean-Marie Dreujou
Producers: Cyril Colbeau-Justin, Jean-Baptiste Dupont
Production designer: Jean-Marc Kerdelhue
Costume designer: Pierre-Yves Gayraud
Music: Michel Legrand
Editors: Nathalie Langlade, Laurent Rouan, Sarah Ternat
Didier: Franck Dubosc
France: Emmanuelle Beart
Jackson: Gerard Depardieu
Walter: Samuel Le Bihan
Neuneuil: Abbes Zahmani
Mme Graindorge: Annie Cordy
La Baronne: Isabelle Nanty
Guillaume: Francois-Xavier Demaison
Running time -- 103 minutes
No MPAA rating