Edouard Baer’s new film is a great laugh

Edouard Baer in “Ouvert la nuit”, a feel good film, photo Pascal Chantier

At 50, Edouard Baer is back on Radio Nova every morning, making us all laugh at life. And even if his character of Luigi, in his new film “Ouvert la nuit”, is darker than appears, his large smile and his acute sense of humor are a nice way to start the year. And all the actors are fabulous.Born on December 1, the same day as Woody Allen, Edouard Baer could impersonate a reversed French version of the American writer-director. In “Ouvert la nuit”, a theater manager tries to save a compromised play set by a famous tyrannical Japanese director (played by Yoshi Oida) and tortures his assistants with whom he entertains a flirtatious relationship. The character played by Baer is a night clubber, bar addict, who makes everyone laugh and charms the most dangerous crooks, but ends up alone, left by wife and mistresses alike. His only faithful friend seems to be a stern lady taxi driver who puts up with all his crazy instincts.

Throughout the 24 hours of the film we travel, mostly at night, in bars and theaters of Paris, down by the Seine in front of the Grand Palais, at Théâtre Marigny, at Castel the famous rue Princesse night club of which Baer is a familiar, and in all sorts of brasseries and sleazy spots.

His intern from Science Pô, is Sabrina Ouazani, a pretty 28 year old actress who won a César at 13 for her part in “l’Esquive”. Born of Algerian parents, she grew up in the suburbs and acts a young woman from the projects who made it to Sciences Pô, an elite university. She is typically, the politically correct ambitious student who tries to discipline her womanizer and spoiled  boss. There are many allusions to the ordeal of finding babysitters, an obvious problem for working women who depend on a despotic director.

Edouard Baer and Sabrina Ouazani form an odd couple in the nights of Paris, photo Pascal Chantier

The social message sent by the film is not the most interesting part of the script which is mostly hilarious and full of the jokes that Edouard Baer has made a reputation with at Radio Nova and Canal plus television.

Raised at the best Paris schools, (Stanislas and l’Ecole Alsacienne) by a father who was an erudite high level civil servant and a very original mother, he studied acting at Cours Florent and never wen back to a “proper” career. He is both a theater and film actor, a humorist and a director.

The real strength of the film is in the actors’ talent. Audrey Tautou, his former girlfriend turned professional alter ego, is (at 40) brilliant in an unattractive role. Michel Galabru, on stage in his last role (he died exactly a year ago on January 6, 2016) is fabulous, Alfredo Arias and Michel Fau, who both have cameo roles and Christine Murillo, who plays the part of a bitchy mécène are all excellent.

Audrey Tautou, plays all the nuances of a difficult part, photo Pascal Chantiel

A scene in Montreuil among an African family is hilarious and Edouard’s seduction of three zoo managers is a high point of the film. Don’t look for philosophy in this comedy, just watch it like with the same pleasure you would lick an ice cream! and feel good for it.

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