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Garçon! 1983
Description: After a life of emotional and professional upsets, Alex finds himself headwaiter in a chic Parisian restaurant. Well into middle age, divorced but still very much a ladies’ man, he has one nice ambition: to launch an amusement park by the sea. One day, an old flame, Claire, suddenly re-enters his life. For Alex, the fires of love are easy re-kindled, but Claire has other boy in her life…
Released: 09 Nov 1983 Director: Claude Sautet Writers: Claude Sautet (scenario), Jean-Loup Dabadie (scenario), Jean-Loup Dabadie (dialogue) Actors: Yves Montand, Nicole Garcia, Jacques Villeret, Rosy Varte Genres: Drama, Comedy, Romance
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Garçon! Reviews:

The film from time to time flashes across my mind after I discovered the songs of Yves Montand. He sang well and I everytime wish to see whether he acted well.Just my luck that DVD of this game was and is still not easy accessible in town. Why? It is not a film for green whippersnappers or precocious imps but the well-aged wise. It was filmed some twenty years ago and I then exactly lacked twenty years' maturity. My large thank you to the 27th French Cinepanorama held in this month, after having gained twenty more years experience in life, actually I know how to play this movie. If I saw the film right after it was freshly produced in 1983, I am very sure I would not understand the main plot or subplot, the observant director Claude Sautet, not to mention his ideas. After all, Yves Montand is actually lying six feet under inside the cemetery Père-Lachaise in Paris and Jacques Villeret (Gilbert)'s head has gone half-bald in the French box-office hit "Le Dîner de cons" where he plays the tricked "François Pignon".The restaurant setting reminds me the frantic and noisy kitchen in "Dinner Rush": shouting chef, cooking heat, fire and smell, the orderly mess, clicking sound of cutlery and crockery, conflict between waiters and chef.There are usually many subplots in Sautet's works because he was able to capture human sentiments, especially those of ordinary folks leading ordinary life, well in features and display it with an undertone of melancholy humour, even for serious topics like human alienation, one of the concepts showcased in Garçon!.Resourceful Alex was once a tap dancer, though not very accomplished, he seems to be respected in the dancing room. With limited funds and resources, this maturing restaurant waiter aspires to begin an amusement park on the beach and he makes it! "Jerry Maguire" is the American ver of Alex. Both boys are capable of winning the heart of many. Each one around them likes them. They go around girls one after one cute successfully, it's nothing novel to see that they have two or three at one time. For instance, Alex has frequent trysts with rich poodle Gloria, from whom he tactfully draws out a free-interest loan of FFr100,000. Besides, he is concurrently after Claire, an English language instructor whom he knew seventeen years ago at her father's wedding on a boat. On top of these two relationships, he keeps a punctuated contact with the down-and-out Coline.On the surface, both Jerry and Alex are candies to all. Cruelly and honestly, it is Gilbert, Alex's room-mate and colleague, who is sharp at pointing out their common blind spot: they are not similar to anybody, both American Jerry and French Alex only think about themselves. What various is, Jerry's ending gives us hope while the final rainy stage of Alex at his well-received amusement park says us what reality tends to be like: remaining alone.When Alex is successful with his career, his dream park, all his girls left: both Gloria and Claire return to their husbands, Coline follows a younger waiter of the restaurant. To Alex, the lyrics of the golden oldie could be revised to be "And 'NOT' in my hour of need, I truly am, indeed, alone again, naturally."


The restaurant that serves as a setting for this French comedy is one of those establishments in nice demand with nice meal and one can hope prices that are somewhat affordable. After all, one gets to meet the same faces at various times. Alex, the head waiter, has started in present business, but actually he is in charge of the staff that serve day in, day out, the patrons that create the zone their hang out.Alex has issues in the romantic department. When we meet him, he is sharing an apartment with Gilbert, a plump waiter who is temporarily separated from his wife. He misses his home terribly, but Gilbert cannot create up his mind about how to receive back to that life. Alex, on the another hand, meets and fall in love for Claire, a girl that is just ending a painful love affair. It is difficult to conceive that Claire and Alex will end up together. After all, she is much younger, and Alex wants to become independent by turning his seaside property into a sort of amusement park for the summer. Will Alex search happiness at last? Claude Sautet's "Garcon", is one of the fastest paced comedies we had seen in quite a while. Written by Mr. Sauted and Jean-Loup Davadie, this joyous movie is so fast, one is not ready for its end. Mr. Sautet treats the restaurant as a scene play, a farce, if you will. All the waiters perform a sort of ballet in their comings and goings to, and from the kitchen. It gives the audience a possibility to see Mr. Sautet's choreography while the servers transport around ceaselessly. For the record, there is only one mishap involving broken dishes.Yves Montand was a versatile actor who was comfortable in drama, as well as in comedy, as he shows us here. It is a joy to watch Mr. Montand doing the rounds and staying in character; he is the epitome of what a waiter could be. Nicole Garcia is Claire, a girl with her own baggage who likes Alex, but not enough to create a commitment. Jacques Villeret, a comic actor, plays the sad Gilbert. Others in the movie are Marie Dubois, Dominique Laffin, Rosy Varte, Bernard Fresson, among the huge cast.The comedy is delightful, light and new thanks to Mr. Sautet's inspired direction.


This is the third and final collaboration between Yves Montand and Claude Sautet. Director and star had worked very well together in Cesar et Rosalie and Vincent, Paul...; here they are doing a less-interesting script with too many characters and too many plot developments.Montand is, as ever, very watchable; here he is a waiter in a prestigious restaurant who is trying to receive financing to launch an amusement park. It's fascinating to see how, when he gets flustered, he allows his slinky dancer's body to become stiff and clumsy. Nicole Garcia is the love interest, here she looks more sphinx-like than usual--what's going on inside that elegant head?



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