Daily Archives: January 30, 2010

Les Vacances de M. Hulot

Directed by Jacques Tati
Produced by Fred Orain
Written by Jacques Tati & Henri Marquet
Starring Jacques Tati
Nathalie Pascaud
Micheline Rolla
Release date(s) France February 25, 1953
USA June 16, 1954
Running time 114 min.
Language French

Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday is a 1953 French comedy starring and directed by Jacques Tati. It also introduced the world to Tati’s comic character Monsieur Hulot.
Tati is hailed as a comic genius but I didn’t find this film to be laugh out loud funny. It was quite cute and there was one scene that I did laugh really hard at, but overall it was more amusing that hilarious. That is not to say that I don’t recommend the film, as Tati’s pantomime is very graceful and is quite funny and everything is very well timed but I guess that this is a film that hasn’t aged as well as some, and I would have found it funnier on first release in the 1950s.

Part of the problem I guess is that there is very little plot involved in the film. It seems that random things just happen for whatever reason. Also, as the film is a satire of post-war French society, it is something that is less relatable to a 2010s audience.

Still I do recommend this film if only for Tati’s performance as Hulot. To my eye, and I could be wrong, Tati looks as though he served as the inspiration in part to Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau and Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean.