'May Fools' has two plots and no point

October 19, 1990|By Lou Cedrone | Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff

Louis Malle's ''May Fools'' doesn't seem to have much point. The film, showing at the Charles, has two plots going and doesn't do much with either.

Malle, who co-wrote and directed the film, said he was trying to evoke the mood of the late '60s when students radicals were trying to start another French Revolution.

The fools in this instance are members of a family whose matriarch has died. Her descendants gather at the family home where they bicker with each other and tell the dead woman's son that he should sell the house and split the money with them. He should do the same with the furniture, too, they say.

Up to this point, the film plays like a French version of ''You Can't Take It With You,'' but then the other theme intrudes, and the movie is off track. The second theme has members of the family hear that Charles de Gaulle has left Paris to the rebels. Thinking they will be murdered en masse, they take to the woods with food and supplies.

Their departure, intended to be comic, seems only pointless, and the film loses the balance it had, precarious as it was.

If Malle thinks all this amusing, he is the only one who gets the point.

''May Fools'' will remain at the Charles through Wednesday.

''May Fools''

* A French family lives through the disruption of 1968.

CAST: Michel Piccoli, Miou-Miou, Michel Duchaussoy

DIRECTOR: Louis Malle

RATING: R (nudity, sex)

RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes

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