Scott Hardie | January 5, 2002
Being the conscientious moviegoer, I chose the French comedy over the American blockbuster. And I'm glad I did.

"Amélie" is one of the funniest films I've seen this year. I think only "Ghost World" had me laughing harder. The premise, if you haven't heard of the film, is that a young woman decides to mess with other people's lives without them knowing. Sometimes she does good things for them, sometimes she plays pranks. The former make you feel warm and fuzzy, the latter make you laugh till your sides hurt. The theater in which I saw it was in stitches.

I am willing to reveal what I consider to be the best joke in the movie. If you don't want to know, move on to the next paragraph! Amélie's father doesn't listen to her and only thinks about his wooden gnome out in his garden. So in the middle of the night she breaks into his garden and steals it, and has a stewardess friend take pictures of it in exotic locations and mail the photos to dad. So he keeps getting photos of the gnome at the Statue of Liberty, the Great Sphinx, and so on, as if the gnome had traveled there. Every time he opened the envelope and pulled out another photo of the gnome at a new famous landmark, the audience cracked up.

I guess I don't know what else to say about this movie. Good cinematography. Good example of how computer animation can be used outside of science-fiction films. Good musical score. Good acting. No complaints here.


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