In Viens chez moi, I live with a friend, Guy, on the street and unemployed, finds a good soul to house him, his friend Daniel, who works as a mover and lives with his girlfriend Françoise. Terrible loser, Guy will not only make Daniel lose his job but also scramble him with his girlfriend. While the lovebirds end up being reconciled, Guy embarks on new galleys …
On the occasion of the film’s diffusion this afternoon on France 2, back on one of the aspects of its production: Patrice Leconte and Michel Blanc did not want Bernard Giraudeau in the role of Daniel!
The successful producer Christian Fechner (L’Aile ou la Cuisse, La Zizanie, etc.) bought the rights to the boulevard piece “Come to my house, I live with a friend” written by Luis Rego and Didier Kaminka (with the collaboration of Jean-Luc Voulfow and Jean-Paul Sèvres) in 1975. Convinced of his cinematographic potential, he proposed to Patrice Leconte to adapt it on the big screen.
The director accepted the proposal and, with Fechner’s agreement, embarked with him Michel Blanc, his partner of the two Bronzes, to rewrite the script for this play (and have him play Guy, the main character).
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The adaptation work turned out to be substantial. The room is centered on two friends who want to spend New Years Eve with their respective companions in the same bed. For the film, Leconte and Blanc considered this framework too thin and therefore preferred to develop the idea of an unemployed person who settles in with a friend, himself living in a couple, against the backdrop of a France on the edge of crisis.*
Michel Blanc intended to attribute the character of Daniel to Gérard Lanvin, an actor whom he greatly admired, but the latter refused because he wanted to distance himself from the café-theater and its regulars. Furthermore, producer Christian Fechner preferred that it was Bernard Giraudeau who had the role, and this from the start. Something Blanc and Leconte did not want. The latter said:
“I saw him as a pretty foolish young first, a kind of ideal son-in-law, pretty boy that’s all. And I wanted someone who had more character. We did a lot of tests, with Roger Mirmont for example . (…) I met Bernard. I found him more interesting in life than in the films he had made. And I let myself be won over by Fechner’s quiet certainty. “**
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Finally, the director and the interpreter of Guy were not disappointed by the actor (a feeling accentuated by the 2.8 million admissions of the film in French theaters). As proof: in 1985, Leconte, Blanc (in the scenario) and Giraudeau found themselves on Les Spécialistes (with also Lanvin!), Which also conquered the public (more than 5.3 million admissions).
Finally, it should be noted that Blanc and Lanvin responded to Marche à l’ombre in 1984 (which is also the first production of the first): a comedy on which Fechner had once again sought to impose Giraudeau! The latter not wanting to take part in the film (he was too old for the role), Lanvin was delighted to slip into the skin of the adventurer François.
*“Michel Blanc, on a misunderstanding” by Alexandre Raveleau, editor: Hors Collection / “Cinema secrets” by Bruno Cras, Plon.
**“I quit cinema: Interviews with Hubert Prolongeau” by Patrice Leconte and Hubert Prolongeau, publisher Calmann-levy