Wes Anderson Remaking the French Comedy My Best Friend
by Alex Billington
September 10, 2008
Universal has hired Wes Anderson to write the remake of the French comedy My Best Friend, aka Mon meilleur ami. The 2006 film starred Daniel Auteuil as a cranky old antiques dealer who learns at a dinner with his closest acquaintances that none of them really like him because of his harsh manner and selfishness. When his business partner bets him a valuable vase that he can’t produce a best friend, the dealer tries to get an amiable cab driver to pose as his buddy. Anderson may also potentially direct as well, but so far he's only writing. As much as I love Wes Anderson, I really can't see this being all that good.
Remarkably, I actually saw My Best Friend in theaters on a short trip to Los Angeles last year. Anderson, known for Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and Darjeeling Limited, is still a very talented filmmaker, so that's not the problem. It's just that I can't see the story in this film being turned into another Anderson classic. I even really enjoyed The Darjeeling Limited, but that and all of his other movies seem like such a far departure from My Best Friend, that I just can't picture it. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but who knows? We'll find out soon enough. Brian Grazer is producing with Universal, so we'll see whether this does indeed turn into something a bit more colorful and entertaining. Does Wes Anderson still got it?
Hey Alex, you didn't comment on the French version, was it any good? I can't see Anderson adapting someone elses work because his style of story telling is very different than most (which is what makes him great for creating new stories but I don't think adapting others). I liked Darjeeling as well, but I think Owen Wilson's personal struggle in real life gave me a new outlook while watching the film which attributed to most of my enjoyment; it felt like Wilson wasn't acting, but instead expressing himself through a live action journal.
Peloquin on Sep 10, 2008
To answer the question in regards to Wes Anderson possibly directing this film and it 'working', the answer, I think, is emphatically yes. Immediately when I read the short synopsis of the French film and Anderson attached to it, I thought of the Films 'Being There' and 'Shampoo', both Hal Ashby films of which by now, it is known that Anderson owes much of his style to, especially in Rushmore when film-contextualized with Harold and Maude. I have thought as a huge fan of his, that I would love to see Wes Anderson, like Ashby and the other great 70's directors of the past did, to take a crack by directing someone else's original script, and what I think will ultimately result is a great post-postmodern Ashby-esque adult comedy that Anderson can only do, unlike his peers who try a form of 'simulacra' in aping Anderson's cinematic style (Napoleon Dynamite, Garden State, Juno, etc) and fail with short-attention spanned, shallow cinema without substance.
Armando Olivas on Sep 10, 2008
I think cinephiles have been thirsting for something different from Wes Anderson, and I think this could just be it. Aesthetics and auteur discussion aside--which can only benefit an adaptation from French cinema--Anderson has a strong history of stories with very human, heavily emotional subtexts. And I'd be quite surprised if he didn't direct it, though only writing it could be the career deviation pundits have been seeking, in and of itself.
Karni on Sep 10, 2008
This french comedy is really great, I don't know why they are making a 'remake' !
Flo on Sep 10, 2008
Of course Wes Anderson still has it. And please have someone proof read your articles before posting them if you're going to write...."Does Wes Anderson still got it?"....change to, "Does Wes Anderson still have it?"
Jason on Sep 10, 2008
I'm an Anderson junkie, just to get that out. This is really exciting news! It will be interesting to see his take on someone else's story. Granted, I'd watch it anyway, but knowing its a remake makes this all that much more interesting, oddly enough. I normally cringe when I hear remake.
Traveler on Sep 10, 2008
As long as Bill, Owen, Jason, Anjelica, or Luke have a part in it and Anderson directs I'll be happy. Oh and someone has to smoke cigarettes in the film.
Shelby on Sep 11, 2008
The jerk part sounds perfect for Bill Murray. No one plays them better!
Mike on Sep 11, 2008
Don't know the French original, but the basic plotline sounds like it's right up Anderson's alley--a very sad comedy about very flawed people who find some sort of redemption. It will be interesting to see how Anderson develops with "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and this, or whatever his next project is.
Davey on Mar 25, 2009
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