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Film / Just Visiting

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Just Visiting (French title Les Visiteurs en Amérique) is a 2001 French-American comedy film. A remake / Continuity Reboot of the 1993 French film Les Visiteurs produced with the American market in mind, it starred Jean Reno, Christian Clavier, Christina Applegate, Malcolm McDowell, Tara Reid, and Bridgette Wilson and was written by John Hughes. Both Reno and Clavier played the protagonists of the 1993 film and reprise their roles, with different names.

In 12th century England, French knight Thibault Malféte is about to marry Princess Rosalind, the daughter of the reigning King. At the wedding banquet, the Earl of Warwick gives Thibault a potion given to him by a witch (originally intended for Rosalind) which causes him to hallucinate, and under its influence, he kills his own bride, believing her to be a monster. While under sentence of death, his servant Andre finds a wizard to help him. The wizard gives him a potion that will send him back to the moment before he killed the Princess. Unfortunately, the wizard botches the spell, and instead, Thibault and Andre are sent into the 21st century.

A third Les Visiteurs film, Bastille Day, came out in 2016, and ignores this reboot film.

Just Visiting provides examples of:

  • Accidental Incantation: Shortly after Thibault returns to his original time, Hunter, back at the house, drinks what he thought was a shake that they poisoned. He finds a slip of paper on the counter, and accidentally reads out the incantation. Immediately he is sent back to the medieval era seemingly in the same place as Thibault.
  • Adaptation Deviation:
    • In the original, Godefroy caused the witch to make him hallucinate and kill his bride's father thinking he was an aggressive bear because he raided her house, captured her and intended to burn her. In this film, it's an enemy noble to Thibault, Lord Warwick, who hires the witch to ruin Thibault's marriage.
    • Speaking of the witch, she can summon a dragon here, while in the original she does no such thing.
    • In the original, Godefroy kills his bride's father by mistake thinking he's an aggressive bear. In this film, Thibault kills his bride by mistake thinking she's a monster.
    • There was nothing in the original film to suggest that the Time Travel potion could transport the drinkers to another continent as long as it's in the same room (it's just an Excuse Plot to move the story to America). Time-travellers rather ended up at the same place in a different century (often a forest where castles once stood).
  • Adaptation Name Change: Godefroy is renamed "Thibault" (Malefète was kept), Jacquouille la Fripouille becomes "André le Paté", Frénégonde becomes "Rosalind", Béatrice becomes "Julia" and Ginette becomes "Angelique". The wizard, meanwhile, goes unnamed, while his name is Eusaebius in the original film.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Andre is often ordered by Thibault to do things he would very much rather not do.
  • Continuity Reboot: Despite sharing the same lead actors as the original film, it shares no continuity with it or its sequels.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Thibault handles modern men fairly well in single combat.
  • Dance Line: There's a scene towards the end of the film which ushers Hunter being discovered.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Obviously.
  • The Dung Ages: Thibault and Andre wear the traditional garb of their time period. The Wizard meanwhile puts on a cowboy hat and thinks this will help him blend in.
  • Eternal English: Thibault, Andre and the Wizard have little trouble communicating with the people of 21st century Chicago.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: Played straight.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Thibault and Andre are confused by modern concepts, such as cars, planes, television, and equal rights.
  • Foreign Remake: Les Visiteurs IN AMERICA!
  • Hong Kong Dub: The film was made in English language, and the French dub poorly syncs with the mouths, especially for Thibault and André.
  • Identical Grandson: Christina Applegate plays both Rosalind and her descendant Julia.
  • Idiot Ball: The wizard forgot one main ingredient (crow's eggs) of the potion, sending Thibault and Andre to the 21st century instead of sending them a few hours back in time. Oops...
  • Medieval Morons: Thibault is a bit clueless, while Andre eats things he shouldn't.
  • Mistaken for Special Guest: Thibault, who comes from 12th century England, is mistaken for Julia's distant French cousin.
  • Off with His Head!: After the death of Rosalind, the king orders Thibault's death in the morning.
  • Setting Update: The medieval part is changed from early 12th century France under Louis VI the Fat to late 12th century England under Henry the Second, and the modern-day part from early '90s France to the USA in the early 2000s.
  • Stock Scream: During the skirmish at the beginning, a knight lets the Wilhelm Scream out when dying.
  • Time Travel
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: A bit unintentional, but Andre and Angelique sell the gemstones found on a serving cup that they'd accidentally brought to the future to get rich and go to Vegas.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Because Thibault can interact with his descendants in the present, a Genre Savvy viewer can guess easily that despite Hunter's interference, Thibault is going to make it back to the past.