Urban Cinefile
"If for some reason I couldn't make another movie, I wouldn't shrivel up and die. I'd just focus my passion and commitment on something else"  -Russell Crowe
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



When has-been pop-star Gilles Gabriel (Alain Chabat), a one-hit-wonder from the 1980s, drives his Renault into uptight accounts manager Jean-Christian Ranu (Daniel Auteuil), the accident leaves the latter without a scratch, but with a mind now possessed by the voice of Gilles. Whilst Jean-Christian struggles to figure out who is suddenly talking to him, Gilles is as boisterous as ever, but has no control over his host's behaviour. Thinking himself dead and seeing Jean-Christian as the only way to launch a long-awaited pop comeback, Gilles slowly transforms the lonely bachelor in his own image, causing considerable chaos along the way.

Review by Louise Keller:
It might have sounded funny on paper, but this total misfire from directors Nicolas Charlet and Bruno Lavaine simply does not spark or burst into flames in order to be the absurd comedy to which it aspires. It might be apt that there are two directors - after all, there are two characters trapped in the one body - but it's a case of a one-idea joke that outstays its welcome.

Daniel Auteuil plays Jean-Christian Ranu, the friendless, hopeless businessman who inherits the added persona and inner voice of 80s pop star Gilles Gabriel (Alain Chabat). The film begins with plenty of promise as we meet Chabat's charismatic former pop star Gilles, as he drives along the highway in his SUV. Gilles is singing along with the radio, when the station plays one of his old hits. His chest swells and there's visible pleasure on his face as his ego is stroked. But then there's an accident and Auteuil's Jean-Christian lands on the car's bonnet.

There are a few chuckles as Jean-Christian comes to terms with the irritating voice within that can see what he sees (embarrassing in the bathroom), but that's where the laughs come to a halt. The scene at the morgue falls flat, as does his attempts to woo his attractive boss Muriel (Marina Foïs), who sends failed executives to Bucharest. The idea to make this an unusual buddy movie of sorts is novel, but the heavy handed execution makes this overblown farce feel as though it has been stuffed into a cannon and blasted into the universe with no finesse whatsoever.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The French farce gets a personality makeover in this fizzy concoction that pairs the talents of multi-faceted Daniel Auteuil with comedic superstar Alain Chabat (who also produces) as a weird buddy movie. The two are clearly opposites: Gilles Gabriel (Alain Chabat), is a supremely confident has-been pop singer with a wife (Marie Chevalier), while Christian Ranu (Daniel Auteuil) is a nerdy, bachelor who works as a barely tolerated accountant at a large firm. When Gilles accidentally runs down Jean-Christian, there is no physical damage to him, but he starts to hear Gilles' voice inside his head. A transference seems to have taken place, with humorous results. Not as humorous as I'd like, mind you, and you have to totally surrender to the silliness to make this work.

Chabat is not seen again until the end of the movie, but we hear a lot from him. As for Auteuil, I much prefer him in straight roles, and while he has a comedic ability, it's best used as dry as possible. He doesn't look appealing here, either, and the direction seems more suited to half hour tv sitcom than a big screen production of 90 minutes. Then again, with comedy it only needs to be one degree away from the viewer's sense of humour and it misfires.

Misjudged and uber-overstated, the filmmakers take a sledgehammer to smash the joke into the audience.

Published May 7, 2009

Email this article

Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

(France, 2008)

La personne aux deux personnes

CAST: Daniel Auteuil, Alain Chabat, Marina Fois, Marie Chevalier, Orlando, Joey Starr

PRODUCER: Alain Chabat

DIRECTOR: Nicolas Charlet, Bruno Lavaine

SCRIPT: Nicolas Charlet, Bruno Lavaine


EDITOR: Reynald Bertrand

MUSIC: Nicolas Errera

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes




SPECIAL FEATURES: Making of featurette


DVD RELEASE: May 6, 2009

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020