La Soupe aux choux (The Cabbage Soup) is a 1981 French science fiction comedy film starring Louis de Funès, Jean Carmet and Jacques Villeret. It is the adaptation of a 1980 novel by René Fallet.
Claude Ratinier ("Le Glaude", De Funès) and Francis Chérasse ("Le Bombé", Carmet) are two old peasants (a shoemaker and well-digger respectively) who live in a small French village. One night, a farting contest between them attracts an alien.
La Soupe aux choux provides examples of:
- Age-Down Romance: Le Glaude's wife, who died at 60, is resurrected by the aliens with the appearance of a 20-year-old woman. She goes away with a young guy.
- The Alcoholic: Le Glaude and Le Bombé drink a lot of alcoholic drinks, in particular wine. Claude's doctor is horrified to learn that "Le Glaude" is drinking one pint glass per meal and even 5-6 Liters per day! This is one of the reasons why the police does not believe Le Bombé when he reports a flying saucer.
- Aliens Speaking English: At first, the alien can only speak his native language, but as he listens to Le Glaude, he very quickly learns the rural French he speaks.
- Amusing Alien: The alien is funny, with his Starfish Language, his Mundane Object Amazement, etc.
- Back from the Dead: Le Glaude's wife, who died at 60, is resurrected by the aliens. Moreover, they give her back the appearance of a 20-year-old woman.
- Bungled Suicide: Le Bombé tries to hang himself, but he fails because Le Glaude has almost cut the rope.
- Came Back Wrong: Le Glaude's wife, who died at 60, is resurrected by the aliens. They give her back the appearance of a 20-year-old woman. She does not love Le Glaude any more and soon she leaves him.
- Cassandra Truth: The police does not believe Le Bombé and Amélie Poulangeard when they report that they saw a flying saucer.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Amélie Poulangeard is considered as a mad woman by the villagers.
- Community-Threatening Construction: The development plan of the mayor involves the destruction of the houses of Le Glaude and Le Bombé and the end of their simple way of life.
- Determined Homesteader: Le Glaude is a retired old shoemaker and a recluse living in a Ghost Town with a friend. He spends his time growing vegetables (especially cabbage), drinking alcholol and goofing around with "Le Bombé" by doing farting contests.
- Dirty Old Man: Le Glaude would like to have sex with the young woman resurrected by the aliens. Justified, because she is his wife.
- Faux Horrific: The alien is terrified when Le Glaude takes off his cap to show him that he is old and bald.
- The Film of the Book: The film is an adaptation of a 1980 novel by René Fallet.
- Flying Saucer: The spacecraft of the alien is a typical flying saucer.
- Fountain of Youth: Le Glaude's wife is resurrected and rejuvenated by the aliens. She is given the appearance of a 20-year-old woman.
- Henpecked Husband: Le Glaude becomes one when his wife is resurrected by the aliens. Francine clearly dominates him. For example, she takes his money to buy clothes.
- Human Aliens: He wears strange space suits, but, apart from that, the alien looks exactly like a human being.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Over the course of the film, the alien acquires some human traits like feeling pleasure and smiling.
- Innocent Aliens: The alien poses no danger. He is wide-eyed and childlike. He has difficulty understanding humanity.
- Invisible to Normals: The transceiver left by the alien can only be seen by Le Glaude.
- It Was Here, I Swear!: Le Bombé sees the flying saucer, then he is paralyzed by the alien. When he comes to, he tries to show the flying saucer to Le Glaude, but it is not there any more: the alien has gone away with it.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Le Glaude accepts that his wife leaves him and goes away with a young guy. In the end, he even sends her the gold that the alien gave him.
- Karmic Jackpot: For giving cabbage soup and lending a golden coin to an alien, Le Glaude gets his wife to be resurrected, receives a large quantity of gold and is offered to go with his friend, his cat and his house to another planet, where he will live until he is 200 years old.
- Longevity Treatment: Le Glaude and Le Bombé will live until they are 200 years old on Oxo.
- Mars Wants Chocolate: Oxo wants cabbage soup.
- Mayor Pain: The mayor wants economic development at all costs. Since Le Glaude and Le Bombé refuses to sell their houses, he turns their plots into a people zoo in the middle of a leisure park.
- Mundane Object Amazement: The alien is amazed by the cabbage soup of Le Glaude. He brings some on his home planet, Oxo, and the soup becomes the top item on the planet's agenda.
- Nice Guy: Probably De Funès's most gentle and even-tempered character. Although Le Glaude does gets angry with "La Denrée" for trying to convince to leave Earth and abandon his home and his friend Le Bombé, he is generally a pretty chill guy overall.Le Glaude: You have to understand the "Canon" isn't just Pinard... it's also friendship.
- Older Than They Look: The alien is 70 years old, but he looks much younger. (The actor, Jacques Villeret, was approximately 30.)
- The Paralyzer: The alien uses a paralyzing weapon against Le Bombé. Le Bombé is running and he immediately stops when he is hit by the weapon. He remains motionless and unconscious, but he snores. When he comes to, he does not realize that he has been paralyzed.
- People Zoo: Since Le Glaude and Le Bombé refuses to sell their houses, the mayor turns their plots into a people zoo in the middle of a leisure park.
- Police Are Useless: The police does not believe Le Bombé and Amélie Poulangeard when they report that they saw a flying saucer.
- Sad Clown: Downplayed. While not an overtly comedic character, "Le Glaude" is deeply saddened by the death of his wife and still visit her tomb quite frequently.Le Glaude: Now my "Cicisse", there isn't "Valse Brune" anymore... there is only two knights dumb as the moon under the moon...
Le Bombé: You aren't going to cry... you old chimp?
Le Glaude: I miss her, my Francine... Women are things that only happen to the living.
- Sexual Euphemism: For Le Glaude, arranger ("to fix") means "to make love with".
- Starfish Language: When he first meets Le Glaude, the alien speaks a very strange language that Le Glaude describes as turkey cries. When he comes back, he has learned French.
- Stay with the Aliens: In the end Le Glaude and le Bombé goes with the alien to another planet, where they will live until they are 200 years old.
- Talking to the Dead: Le Glaude talks to his late wife in the cemetery.
- Toilet Humour: The farting of Le Glaude and Le Bombé is an important plot point.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: As much as both are giving Flowery Insults to each other, it's obvious that Le Glaude is genuinely concerned over Le Bombé's suicidal thoughts.Le Glaude: Aw come one, let's go drink a "Canon".
Le Bombé: Fine... then I will hang myself.
Le Glaude: [horrified] You aren't going to hang yourself?
Le Bombé: I'll rather choose death over the disgrace.
Le Glaude: YOU AREN'T ALLOWED TO OFF YOURSELF, FRANCIS!
- What Is This Feeling?: The alien does not know what pleasure is. He discovers it thanks to the cabbage soup.
- Your Cheating Heart: Le Glaude hears that his wife slept with Le Bombé years ago.