French & Saunders: At the Movies

Overview

This collection of skits from the fourth series of French & Saunders lives up to its title. Although the comedic duo takes aim at British culture, BBC TV, pop stars, and the Middle Ages, most of the material focuses on Hollywood parody. Dawn French takes on a pair of box-office villains as she pokes fun at Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs and Kathy Bates in Misery; partner Jennifer Saunders, meanwhile, essays the Jodie Foster and James Caan roles, respectively. French experiences the familiar ...
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Overview

This collection of skits from the fourth series of French & Saunders lives up to its title. Although the comedic duo takes aim at British culture, BBC TV, pop stars, and the Middle Ages, most of the material focuses on Hollywood parody. Dawn French takes on a pair of box-office villains as she pokes fun at Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs and Kathy Bates in Misery; partner Jennifer Saunders, meanwhile, essays the Jodie Foster and James Caan roles, respectively. French experiences the familiar progression from face-hugger to stomach-exploder in a send-up of Aliens that also features Kathy Burke standing in for Jenette Goldstein as Pvt. Vasquez. Thelma and Louise also gets the patented F&S treatment. Other sketches include faux music videos for the Mamas and the Papas, Guns N' Roses, and Shakespear's Sister; "Lucky Bitches," a parody of celebrity sisters Joan and Jackie Collins; and an elaborate re-creation of the historical soap House of Eliott, in which the show's original stars, Stella Gonet and Louise Lombard, appear. The DVD edition of French & Saunders: At the Movies also includes the duo's 1999 Christmas special French & Saunders: The Phantom Millennium, an elaborate parody of Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
The most celebrated of Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French's compendiums, and rightly so, this razor-sharp collection of parodies and sketches displays the duo's brilliant gift for skewering big-budget movies. Never content merely to needle their source material itself, French and Saunders constantly take aim at culture, pop and otherwise, as a whole. Their send-up of James Cameron's Aliens, for instance, manages to make fun of the film's production design, special effects, performances, and plot while at the same time working in some side-splitting satire about British manners. There are also all sorts of in-jokes for confirmed Anglophiles, such as the middle-aged British character actors turned interstellar marines who complain about the insularity of BBC central casting ("Don't talk to me about terror, I've done two 'Casualty's in the last six months"). Parodies of Silence of the Lambs, Misery, and Thelma and Louise are similarly fine, but the funniest bit, for those who get the reference, is probably a fake Shakespear's Sister video complete with catsuit, runny mascara, and ear-piercing high notes. (Erstwhile Sister Marcella Detroit would go on to provide music for Saunders' Absolutely Fabulous.) One hilarious non-movie sequence involves a pair of housewives dissecting the lives of Jerry Hall and Princess Diana as if they were on first-name terms with such megawatt celebrities. Gadgets, gladiators, and Joan Collins also get skewered with eerie precision. The only problem with French & Saunders: At the Movies is that it's so thoroughly rooted in the early '90s that its material may not date well for younger audiences. Oh, well -- it's their loss.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/5/1997
  • UPC: 086162603839
  • Original Release: 1994
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

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