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Film / Les Compères

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Les Compères (ComDads) is a 1983 French comedy film directed by Francis Veber, starring Gérard Depardieu and Pierre Richard. Vladimir Cosma composed the soundtrack.

A teenager, Tristan, leaves his home with his girlfriend. Her mother, Christine (Anny Duperey), is determined to find him back. She tells an old friend, Jean Lucas (Depardieu), a badass journalist, that he is his father and asks for his help. He refuses to help her, so she tells the same thing to another friend, Francois Pignon (Richard), who is a depressed clumsy guy. Finally, Jean Lucas changes his mind and the two very different men end up on the same trail.

Fathers' Day (1997) is an American remake of this film with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal.


Les Compères provides examples of:

  • Ate His Gun: Subverted. Francois Pignon is goind to commit suicide this way when he is interrupted by Christine's phone call.
  • Buddy Picture: Jean Lucas and François Pignon, two very different guys, have to work together to find back Tristan, who might be their son.
  • Butt-Monkey: Francois Pignon. The mafia's henchmen tear his suit. He is forced to eat a sandwich that contains is tie. He gets hit by a bullet.
  • The Casanova: Jean Lucas has an affair with a colleague in Paris. When he arrives to Nice, he calls several girls to find one who is available for the night. His friend, the policeman, says Lucas is single and has a girl in every port.
  • Delinquents: Tristan becomes part of a gang of teenagers who smoke, drink, steal and destroy properties just for fun. Their look is similar to Greaser Delinquents' (leather jackets, and blue jeans).
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  • Da Editor: Jean Lucas's boss does not want him to go to Nice, because he thinks it is too dangerous for him. Jean Lucas insists.
  • Final Speech: Parodied. At the hospital, Francois Pignon gives one to Tristan, but we know his life is not in danger and Jean Lucas makes fun of him in his back.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: Francois Pignon is going to commit suicide when he is interrupted by Christine's phone call. (He has committed many suicide attempts in the past.) When they meet, Christine tells him he has a son and he is happy to hear it. In the end, he is happy because he believes Tristan is his son.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Jeannot manages to survive long enough to call Pignon, to wait for him and to give him a file with evidences.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Jean Lucas goes to Nice even if he knows the mafia wants to kill him.
  • Linked List Clue Methodology: When they are looking for Tristan, Jean Lucas and François Pignon go from one place to the other thanks to the clues they are given by the people they meet. Finally, they find him.
  • Luke, I Might Be Your Father: Both Jean Lucas and Francois Pignon reveals to Tristan they might be his father.
  • The Mafia: In Nice, the casinos are controlled by the mafia. Jean Lucas is chased by the mafia because he investigates this case.
  • Mama Bear: Christine is determined to find her son back. When the owner of a hotel does not want to help, she confronts him.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Three guys could be Tristan's father: Jean Lucas, François Pignon or Paul. It seems even the mother does not know.
  • Missing Child: Tristan left home and his parents are looking for him.
  • Police Are Useless: Chistine has to ask Lucas's and Pignon's help to find his son back because the police is inefficient. In the mafia case, the police is not very active either (it just removes a dead body from the street).
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Tristan's bedroom has multiple posters including one from Superman.
  • Really Gets Around: Christine 17 years ago. As a consequence, she does not know who is Tristan's father: Jean Lucas, Francois Pignon or Paul.
  • Running Gag: Francois Pignon starts crying.
  • Sand In My Eyes: In the end, when Jean Lucas gets emotional because Tristan told him he is his true father, he starts crying and pretends he has got a bug in his eye.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Francois Pignon is a depressed sensitive guy, whereas Jean Lucas is a badass journalist, who likes cars, women and fight.
  • Shoutout: There is a poster of Superman: The Movie in Tristan's bedroom.
  • Spiritual Successor: To La Chèvre (1981), a comedic Buddy Picture directed by Francis Veber, starring Gérard Depardieu and Pierre Richard, with music by Vladimir Cosma.
  • Tears of Joy: In the end, both Lucas and Pignon shed tears of joy because they both think they are Tristan's father.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Tristan does not want to be helped by Jean Lucas and Francois Pignon.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Jean Lucas's new BMW gets trashed by Tristan and his gang. Later, it is further damaged by Pignon when he wants to move it because it is parked in a wrong place.