Camping 3 is much better than Camping 2. But …
Update of September 23, 2021: TMC is planning a special evening Camping from 9:05 p.m. Fabien Onteniente’s third film will be followed by a documentary on the trilogy carried by Franck Dubosc.
The Hollywood Reporter loved Camping 3: “sometimes hilarious and touching”
Review published on June 28, 2016: Presenting Camping 3 during its Paris premiere last week, Fabien Onteniente apologized for the wait. A ten-year wait, since 2006 and the first Camping. So the director seemed to want to forget the existence of Campsite 2, the sequel to 2009 which he himself said in an interview that it was a bit missed. The film from the Sarkozy era where Chirac (Patrick) saved the Blue Flots campsite from real estate destruction with the help of Richard Anconina. In 2016, summer is back and Patrick in his wake, who arrives at Flots Bleues with a new owner (Philippe Lellouche, absolutely formidable of ordinary Beauferie), former manager of a Buffalo Grill transforming the campsite in the American style, renaming part of the summer camp “Beverly Hills” and installing a fitness room with Wi-Fi. Patrick arrives by carpooling with three young people and goes to teach them about life at the campsite, while Jacky (Claude Brasseur) suffers from Alzheimer’s, that Paulot (Antoine Dulery) turns homo and that our hero waits for news of his daughter who must join him in the tent. Let us not forget the tribulations of young Benji (Louka Meliava), unhappy ex-candidate for The Voice, fell in love with Morgane (Leslie Medina), daughter of Charmillard (Gerard Jugnot), star TV presenter … It’s many, far too many stories.
I am Pastis
The film therefore attempts to mix these different storylines without really going into them, linking together interrupted sketches, bits of gags, sketches of drama. The main problem with the film lies in its lack of dramatic stakes. Which becomes downright embarrassing when Patrick tries to “cure” Paulot of his supposed homosexuality by plugging him into a mature woman with a wooden leg disabled (Cristiana Reali) during a blind date in a crêperie -a scene which could have been very funny (and which is a bit funny when Paulot kicks his feet on the wooden leg and is surprised not to have a reaction) if the bottom was not so rancid. Spoiler: on arrival, Paulot is not gay, he is “cured”. Relief from Patrick. Whoops. This is the problem with many of the film’s gags, which provoke more embarrassment than laughter like the “Je suis Pastis” t-shirt by Jacky or Robert (black character) that we do not see at night.
The Full Camping
The nexus of the film, around which everything revolves, is Franck Dubosc (also screenwriter), and in ten years and three films Patrick has not changed one iota – same car, same punchlines, same clothes, same giant inflatable shrimp. But even the character’s immobility is not the subject of the film (unlike, for example, Gary Knight in The last ad before the end of the world). And Dubosc to provide Camping 3 what works best: a sketch of comic sociology, little gags that we imagine coming from a realistic observation of daily life at the Blue Flows, where we use a washcloth or cold shells to serve as bung, where we recover a residue of toothpaste found on the edge of the sink for troubleshooting. The other important narrative arc is the relationship between Patrick and the three young people, which manages to touch a certain tenderness and warmth. But we stay on the surface of things. Because we know well that deep down, Onteniente does not seek so much to make a richly beauf comedy: its goal of cinema has always been (even in Three-zero, in Disco, in Turf), it is to move a la Michel Lang, or an English socio-comedy way a la The Full Monty ; starting from a funny subject (camping, guys in underwear) to take a sectional view of society at a given moment and end in pure emotion. But as long as there is not a real scenario instead of the string of skits. Laughs and songs, camping holidays will always be a bit of a waste. Even if we are sure to find Patrick and his Benco there.
When Franck Dubosc arrives in briefs at Fabien Onteniente’s wedding