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A catchall comedy that pokes fun at virtually every human and social foible, and does it with total abandon. Writer/director Gerard Oury lampoons bigotry, Arab nationalism, gangsters, the police, and a lot of little conventions only the French would notice—but for a wild slapstick comedy like this to work, it needs something this film doesn't have. Too long and too slick, it conveys none of the freshness of the great slapstick masterpieces, but it does convey most of the often self-defeating stylishness with which French filmmakers have appropriated (but irretrievably altered) American film forms.

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