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This is not really what you expect from Henri Verneuil : it's an old-fashioned comedy ,which will remind you of Mitchell Leisen 's "remember the night" and " midnight",(late thirties,early forties)both dealing with what we can call the "Cinderella syndrome ";it was shot in color ,at a time it was rare in the French cinema and it enhances the scene of the "Réveillon Surprise" where the young couple enters the luxurious ballroom .
A manicurist (Françoise Arnoul), who dreams of a wonderful Christmas in the four-star hotel where she works meets a mechanic who passes himself off as a wealthy owner of a shipyard (he drives a car where you can enjoy all the orchestra in the worlds ,thanks to a record -player : today it would be in a museum);as she does not want to be outdone by him,she asks an ageing rich businessman (Charles Boyer) to pretend he is her dear dad ,thus making her a heiress.Fortunately his wife (they really made Tilda Thamar look ugly) will be away for a while although she remains present for her photographs -which are not very flattering- seems to keep an eye on her husband .
Then begins a night to remember ,an eventful night ; the screeenplay by Charles Spaak is a bit derivative,but he avoids vulgarity and his comedy is often as light and as sparkling as Champagne ,with witty lines .
Supporting act by Raymond Bussières as the mechanic's colleague 'Soupape" (=valve) who in his scenes effortlessly steals the show from the bland romantic male lead (Roberto Risso);Louis Seigner is also great as the indignant millionaire whose luxury car was stolen right under the hotel staff's nose .
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"Le Dix-septième Ciel " aka "Un Garçon,Une Fille " (Serge Korber)
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