The Chateau (2002)
Two estranged American brothers inherit a French chateau from a long-lost relative, but their efforts to claim it are stymied by the mansion's crew of uncooperative servants. With no hope of paying off the chateau's enormous debt, the pair are forced to sell the chateau, leaving a bewildered staff resorting to desperate and hilarious measures to keep their home.
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Critic Reviews for The Chateau
The new faces are interesting, but the old story isn't, especially when it starts to seem more improvised than scripted.
It's a likeable piece and a prime audition reel for both Rudd and Malco.
A culture-clash comedy that, in addition to being very funny, captures some of the discomfort and embarrassment of being a bumbling American in Europe.
Thanks to The Château's balance of whimsicality, narrative discipline and serious improvisation, almost every relationship and personality in the film yields surprises.
Unfunny from beginning to even after the end.
Once the viewer accepts the huge leaps of faith required in the film's premise, it's a lot of fun to strap oneself in and enjoy this goofy ride.
There are enough of the usual only-in-the-movies misunderstandings between Graham and Allen to delay any sort of resolution, but director Jesse Peretz neglects to fill the gaps with any memorably diverting action.
There's a spontaneity to The Chateau, a sense of light-heartedness, that makes it attractive throughout.
Has an improvisational feel and a cheesy, shot-on-video look (why do that when you've got the French countryside as subject?), but that first hour is still worth seeing.
The uneven movie does have its charms and its funny moments but not quite enough of them.
Given too much time to consider the looseness of the piece, the picture begins to resemble the shapeless, grasping actors' workshop that it is.
Nothing more than an amiable but unfocused bagatelle that plays like a loosely-connected string of acting-workshop exercises.
'The Château is never quite able to overcome the cultural moat surrounding its ludicrous and contrived plot.'
... a fluffy, flaky croissant of a culture clash comedy, barely substantial enough for a feature but just light and tasty enough to satisfy.
Audience Reviews for The Chateau
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