In the comedy Cocorico, the meeting of two French comedy giants, Christian Clavier and Didier Bourdon, promised a delicious cinematic feast. However, when the dust settles, it becomes clear that the film's potential is squandered by a disjointed narrative and the use of hackneyed stereotypes. The film, directed by Julien Hervé in his solo debut, proves to be a missed opportunity for a memorable family comedy.
The plot revolves around the impending nuptials of Alice and François, played by Chloé Coulloud and Julien Pestel, who decide to unite their families in an unconventional way - through DNA tests revealing the secrets of their ancestors. What begins as a promising premise quickly unravels, exposing the film's lack of direction and coherence.
Cocorico's initial charm lies in the initial meeting between Clavier and Bourdon, where their comic prowess shines. Unfortunately, the film takes an abrupt turn, forcing these talented actors to become caricatures of themselves. Christian Clavier turns into a grumpy aristocrat, and Didier Bourdon into a middle-class stereotype, making for repetitive, wearying and very disappointing viewing.
Comparisons with Le Prénom are inevitable, and further reinforce Cocorico's disappointment. Whereas the former deftly navigated witty banter and revealed hidden truths, Julien Hervé's attempt lacks the bite necessary for a successful revelatory comedy. The film succumbs to feeble attempts at humor, particularly in its treatment of the Germans and in an embarrassing scene involving a Portuguese plumber, resulting in more awkwardness than laughs.
The second half of the film descends completely into absurdity and anti-English caricature, with Sylvie Testud's character claiming royal ties due to her English ancestry. Unfortunately, instead of exploring new comic territory, Cocorico relies heavily on clichés and tired situations, leaving Christian Clavier and Didier Bourdon little room to maneuver to save the sinking ship. The impression that this excellent cast has been brought together purely for commercial reasons shines through on screen.
Julien Hervé's choice of locations, with the châteaux of Michel de Montaigne and La Rivière, adds a visual touch to the film. The comedy premise, centered on characters who realize they are not who they think they are, echoes Julien Hervé's previous work in Les Tuche. However, the potential of these elements is hampered by a very uninspired script that fails to deliver a convincing narrative.
Despite the pressure of directing such an iconic tandem as Christian Clavier and diedier Bourdon, Julien Hervé fails to create magic on screen. While the chemistry between the two actors is obvious, it's not enough to compensate for the film's lackluster script and haphazard execution.
Cocorico disappoints with its disjointed narrative, its reliance on tired comic tropes and its inability to live up to the expectations set by its esteemed cast. The film's humorous potential is overshadowed by its inconsistent tone and questionable choices when it comes to cultural stereotypes. With its lack of cohesion and missed opportunities, Cocorico is a real disappointment. It's all the more understandable that French distributor SND didn't show the film to the online press in France, nor offer any real opportunities to discuss it (meetings, Q&A...).
Written and directed by Julien Hervé
Produced by Rémi Jimenez, Renaud Le Van Kim, Ahmed Louati, Philippe Mechelen et Caroline Mougey
Starring Christian Clavier, Marianne Denicourt, Chloé Coulloud, Didier Bourdon, Sylvie Testud , Julien Pestel , Patrick Préjean, Johann Dionnet, Sophie Froissard
Music by Matei Bratescot
Cinematography : Jérôme Alméras
Edited by Stephan Couturier
Production companies: Groupe M6, Beside Productions, SND and White and Yellow Films
Distributed by SND (France)
Release date : February 7, 2024 (France)
Running time : 92 minutes
Seen on February 6, 2024 at Gaumont Disney Village, Salle 3 seat A20