My Best Friend goes American, watch the original’s trailer

Acclaimed writer/director Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited) is remaking the 2006 French film My Best Friend (original title Mon Meilleur Ami) it has been reported. I haven’t watched the original film, but I remember it looked pretty funny and stars two of France’s most popular actors, Dany Boon (this year’s French megahit Welcome To The Sticks) and Daniel Auteuil (whose movie The Closet is being ripped off by Lindsay Lohan, see here).

The story is that of an unpleasant art dealer who makes a bet and is given ten days to find himself a best friend, eventually settling on a simple, hearty cab driver. My advice would of course be to seek out the French film (it’s available internationally) and view that one first. The film was moderately well received by critics and moviegoers alike, but I don’t remember it being that big a success, which make this remake quite puzzling. Meanwhile, Anderson is finishing his first try at animation, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, adapted from Roald Dahl (Charlie And The Chocolate Factory), which will premiere in late 2009.

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Lead keeps changing for French biopic, finally set?

François Cluzet (Tell No One) is the fourth actor cast in the lead of Le Dernier Pour La Route (literal translation One For The Road), following the successive withdrawals of Daniel Auteuil (The Valet), Dany Boon (Welcome To The Sticks) and Christian Clavier (Just Visiting).

Le Dernier Pour La Route will be the directing debut for producer Philippe Godeau (Largo Winch) and is based on war correspondant Hervé Chabalier’s autobiography. Publisher Robert Laffont says of the book:

A taboo subject—alcoholism—confronted with no concessions by one of the major names in French journalism. Pen in hand (Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Matin) or camera at the ready (he is founder and chairman of the prestigious Capa Agency), Hervé Chabalier has covered all the wars for more than thirty years. For his first book, he has chosen to recount his own war, against alcohol. An intimate account, strong, lucid, and courageous, that strikes to the heart of the matter. It was a daring step for the head of one of the largest television agencies in Europe to take the risk of exposing to daylight, concealing nothing, such a personal experience, so difficult to tell. The dramas of a life, its successes and happy adventures, the combined enchantment and disgust elicited by his insatiable mistress, alcohol, his long defeats, and his victory over himself. With great delicacy of feeling and rare honesty, this account presents an indirect portrait of a true humanist.

The movie will start shooting mid-September and, provided no more cast changes are made, will also star Mélanie Thierry (Babylon A.D.) and Michel Vuillermoz (Atonement).