Lol (Laughing Out Loud)
Lol is a French romantic teenage comedy from 2009, centered on the life of Lola, a young Parisian girl, living in one of the best neighborhoods of Paris (probably the 16th arrondissement). You are probably more familiar with the American version of the film from 2012, LOL with Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore replacing Christa Theret and Sophie Marceau. Having watched both versions, it is more than obvious that the second is a remake of the French film. The scenes are exactly the same, even the soundtrack is very similar. Most people that have watched the two films will agree that the French version is way better, proving once more that French cinema is not dead.
Taxi is a legendary French film from 1998 with three sequels (Taxi 2, Taxi 3, Taxi 4) taking place in the mediterranean city of Marseille. It perfectly embodies French humor, especially with the jokes directed towards the police. It served as an inspiration for the Hollywood film Taxi of 2004 starring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon. It was a financial success, grossing a total of $68,895,435 with a budget of $25 million. However, its critics weren’t very positive.
Trois Hommes et un Couffin (Three Men and a Cradle)
This French 1985 comedy about 3 men having to deal with a baby sounds familiar, right? In fact, it was remade in Hollywood only two years later in 1987 as Three Men and a Baby with Tom Selleck. The original film was even nominated for both an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also remade into three Indian films.
La Cage aux Folles (The Birdcage)
La Cage aux Folles is a French-Italian film from 1978 and a remake of the original French play by Jean Poiret of the same name from 1973. The 1978 adaptation was itself remade into the American version in 1996 – The Birdcage starring Robin Williams, the openly gay owner of The Birdcage, a drag club in Miami.
Anthony Zimmer is the 2005 French romantic thriller with Sophie Marceau, who is, by the way, a Bond girl. As you’ve guessed it, there is a Hollywood remake and it’s non other than The Tourist from 2010, with Johnny Depp and Agelina Jolie. The remake version was actually pretty successful, as it doubled its budget, going from $100 million to $278 million throughout the world.
Le Dîner de Cons (Dinner of Fools)
This particular French comedy from 1998 is an absolute classic when we are talking French Cinema, with actors Jacques Villeret and Daniel Prévost. Ask any French person you know, they will agree – all the more reason to watch it! It is a film adaptation of the French play of the same name by Francis Verber. The comedy was remade into the Hollywood The Dinner in 2010 starring Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, and Zach Galifianakis.
La Jetée is a 1962 short French Science Fiction film of 28 minutes. It is in black and white and made almost entirely from still photos, centered on a post-nuclear war experiment. In 1995, it was remade into Twelve Monkeys, a very famous neo-noir science fiction adaptation starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. It grossed the astonishing amount of $168 million worldwide, starting with the mere $29.5 million budget.
This 1991 French comedy was the direct source of inspiration for Titanic’s director James Cameron for his 1994 action comedy film True Lies, with the main roles portrayed by no other than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. This adaptation is the third best-grossing film of 1994, with a total of $378,882,411 worldwide.
By Robert Dencheva