If you think the French New Wave was all ennui and heartbreak, however, you owe it to yourself to check out Zazie dans le Métro, Louis Malle’s certifiably demented third film. It’s in color (the print here is lovely to see), and it blends the New Wave’s rule-breaking rudeness with the hyperactive slapstick of the Keystone Kops. Nominally following the adventures of Zazie (Catherine Demongeot), a distaff Bart Simpson visiting her Parisian ”Unkie” (Philippe Noiret), Zazie compresses throwaway gags, sped-up chases, rash insults, and spectacular destruction into a French Laugh-In with anarchic bite. So inventive that it’s exhausting, this is a rare thing indeed-a family film for cynics. B+
Genre: Foreign Language, Comedy, Drama; Starring: Catherine Demongeot, Anna Karina, Philippe Noiret; Director: Louis Malle; Author: Louis Malle; Runtime (in minutes): 89; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: New Yorker Video
Posted January 25 1991 — 12:00 AM EST
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