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Film / Didier

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Didier is a 1997 French supernatural comedy film starring Jean-Pierre Bacri and Alain Chabat (who also directed it). Michel Hazanavicius plays a small part.

Jean-Pierre (Bacri), a soccer agent, keeps Didier, the dog of his friend Annabelle, while she goes to the US for her job. During the night, Didier inexplicably turns into an adult man (Chabat), but he still has the mental abilities of a dog. Jean-Pierre tries to control Didier. At the same time, he is in trouble because a soccer player he recruited for Richard, the boss of a soccer club, sprained his ankle just before a crucial match. Richard threatens to beat up Jean-Pierre if he does not find a solution. Jean-Pierre then looks at Didier running after balls and catching them...

Didier provides examples of:

  • Accidental Athlete: Didier (a dog turned into a man) is good at playing ball. Jean-Pierre notices it when he sees Didier playing ball in a park, so he decides to let him play in a professional soccer team.
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: The young Asian woman in the van knows martial art and she fights the skinheads with the other Asians who were inside the van.
  • Animal Athlete Loophole: Near the end of the match, Didier turns back into a dog and he scores the winning goal. Since there is no rule against it, the victory is unquestionable according to the sports commentators.
  • Big Game: The climax of the film is a crucial soccer match. If Didier's team loses it, the club will be relegated and Richard's henchmen will beat up Jean-Pierre.
  • The Cameo:
    • Chantal Lauby and Dominique Farrugia, who were part of the comedy group Les Nuls with Alain Chabat, play small parts: Lauby plays a friend of Annabelle and Farrugia plays a soccer supporter.
    • Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala, a famous comedian, plays a sports commentator.
  • Creator Cameo: Claude Berri, the producer of the film, plays a passenger at the airport.
  • Delusions of Doghood: Didier is a man who behaves like a dog. Justified because he is actually a dog turned into a man.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Didier is not very bright and is often described as stupid by the other characters.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Richard, the evil boss of a soccer club who uses mafia-like methods, really cares for his daughter. He is really moved when she appears in the School Play and he knows her lines by heart.
  • Football Hooligans: The skinheads want to go to the stadium to fight, but they never reach the stadium because they meet martial artists on the way.
  • Funny Foreigner: Invoked by Jean-Pierre. To explain Didier's odd behaviour and mutism, Jean-Pierre claims that Didier is Lithuanian.
  • Humanity Ensues: Didier, a Labrador, turns into a human. He still has the mental abilities of a dog.
  • Improbable Sports Skills: During the match, Didier kicks the ball in the air from the centre circle. The ball flies away far above the stadium, then falls with an incredible speed right into the opposing goal.
  • Just Woke Up That Way: During the night, Didier, a Labrador, turns into an adult man. There is no explanation about the cause of the transformation.
  • Love Triangle: Maria is Jean-Pierre's ex-girlfriend, but she is attracted to Didier. In the end, she ends up with Jean-Pierre after he confessed his feelings to her. Didier is eliminated because he turns back into a dog.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Maria thinks that Jean-Pierre has a relationship with Barbara because she sees them at the nightclub talking about watching video cassettes together, but Barbara is actually the girlfriend of a soccer player.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Jean-Pierre and Didier are mistaken for a couple twice, because Didier (who is actually a dog turned into a man) rubs himself against Jean-Pierre. The first time, skinheads threaten to beat them up for being gay. The second time, passers-by insult them in the park.
  • Mugging the Monster: Some skinheads harass a mixed-race couple (nicknaming them "John and Yoko", as they look like the famous couple) driving a van. Only to find out the van is carrying a bunch of martial artists from the local "Tae Kwon Fu" [sic] club. Cue Neo-Nazis whomping.
  • Rule of Pool: There is a swimming pool at Richard's place. When Jean-Pierre introduces Didier to Richard, Richard's daughter falls into the pool and Didier saves her from drowning.
  • School Play: Richard's daughter plays in a school play. Richard attends it with a henchman who films it with a video camera.
  • Talking Animal: In the end, Didier turns back into a dog, but he can talk.
  • Tuckerization: Jean-Pierre makes up a Lithuanian name for Didier, Didje Hazanavicius. Michel Hazanavicius (the director of The Artist) worked as a writer for Les Nuls, the comedy group of Alain Chabat. Michel Hazanavicius and his brother Serge play small parts in this film.