My Best Friend
directed by Patrice Leconte
starring Daniel Auteuil, Dany Boon, Julie Gayet
Got friends? Apparently not if you’re François Coste (Auteuil), high powered dealer in antiquities. He’s good with things, but people are beyond him. At his birthday party, all his business partners agree – he’s likely to die alone, and the sooner the better. No one will have anything to do with him on weekends, and even his business partner Catherine (Gayet) can’t stand him. Good thing he has good taste. He desperately bets Catherine he can produce a friend in a week, but his social skills are weak and even friendly cabbie Bruno Bouley (Boon) has trouble teaching him how to chat up strangers. After a few days the obvious becomes blatant – Bruno is his only potential way to win the bet.
My Best Friend is no more heartwarming than it need be, but I have trouble believing Auteuil as a sociopathic misfit. He looks like a rather stiff Jay Leno here, but never seems anything but standoffishly nice. His relation to Bruno takes on some uncomfortable gay overtones, and you keep sensing something non-PG might happen, but it doesn’t. Boon is the secret star here – his boyish lost puppy charm plays against Auteuil’s inspector Clouseau-like bumbling, and when he finds himself on the French version of “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” he gives the best on-screen squirmfest ever filmed.
If nothing else, this will make you think about who your friends are, why you became friends, and how valuable they are. It’s not the finest flick from director Leconte, but it’s worth a look.