40 reasons to love “Santa Claus is garbage”


“JI don’t like to speak ill of people, but it’s true that it’s a good film. In 1982, in the middle of summer, the Santa Clause is garbage, the adaptation of the eponymous play. Over the reruns, the film acquires the status of cult and crosses the generations, who recite each dialogue of the film at will (according to Thierry Lhermitte, no sentence is “normal”).

To celebrate this somewhat special anniversary as it should be, here are 40 reasons to (re)watch and (re)discover these 90 minutes of “disaster film, but human; dirty, but funny”, as Gérard Jugnot, the legendary Félix, called him at the time. A wicked but not stupid releaser, which hasn’t aged a bit.

1. For these phrases that we use in family, at work (it depends with whom) or in the playground: “C’est c’la, oui…”; “XX is not ugly, XX does not have an easy physique”; “It depends, it goes beyond”…

2. For the actor number of all Splendid members. We knew them as kings of the café-théâtre, here they are actors in composition roles: Clavier is stunning as a depressed (and not very courageous) transvestite, Chazel as a battered and pregnant woman under the influence, Jugnot as a failed man, Lhermitte as an odious good Samaritan … They are no longer those sixty-eighters who play their time (The Bronzed), but full-fledged actors, shaped by Tsilla Chelton, promised a great career.

3. For its vulgarity (lots of big words), but wrapped in chiseled and inspired dialogue.

4. For his criticism of the poor: here, no good feelings. If the employees of SOS Détresse Amitié are “rubbish”, the poor are appalling. Félix and Zézette, two socially destitute, do not grow out of this camera. One has remained, the other is violent.

5. For Thierry Lhermitte’s suit, which perfectly matches the sofa.

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6. To introduce new generations to the legendary Simon game, which with its multicolored keys rocked the playful life of thousands of children in the 1980s (and kept Mme Musquin for a good hour in his elevator).

7. Because it’s “fine, you can eat it without hunger”.

8. For this frenzied slow between Pierre and Katia with the soundtrack “Destiny”, by Guy Marchand, misunderstood genius of the music hall. This syrupy song, a parody of crooner hits, managed the feat of being present in another cult film, released the same year: The Under-gifted on Vacation.

9. What’s new? Still half of 18.

10. Because it’s a real movie and not a filmed play. Jean-Marie Poiré demanded additional scenes, especially outdoors, a giant apartment and added many supporting roles. He also had the ending of the film changed (what a zoo!). The only flaw in this rewriting, the vagueness around the relationship between Katia (Jean-Jacques, in reality) and Thérèse. In the play, we learn that they were married. “That’s it, yes…”

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11. For creating a dress code to take out the trash.

12. Although shot in the summer and released in the summer, we cannot deplore that Katia is “white as a bidet”.

13. Because “when you like doubitchou, you like chestnut kloug”.

14. For Jacques François, irresistible as a pharmacist late for his New Year’s Eve at Castel.

15. For this visionary review by Georges-Marc Benamou, released on August 26, 1982 in the Paris Daily. “Replacing the fat comedies of the 1950s and 1960s, you know, this kind of boulevard theater brought to the screen, it continues, reinforced in this imposture by some who persuade them that they have talent. But yes but yes… “

16. For the short but brief role of Martin Lamotte. Fortunately, three years later, Poiré-Clavier would do it again, with him, to Grandpa resists. He will explode into a hilarious and mischievous dual role.

17. “Hello, police? »

18. For this joke to consume without moderation (he couldn’t come): “You described this Dandy’s evening to me brilliantly” – “With whom? »

19. Because Félix calls Zézette “Chouchou”. Santa finally invented A boy a girl.

20. For this clever decoration advice, “made in Zézette”: “Monsieur Pierre, I would like to keep the oyster shells, it’s to make ashtrays. »

21. For Thérèse, first victim of #BalanceTonPorc.

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22. Because Josiane Balasko is remarkable as a bourgeois who has to leave for New Year’s Eve in Créteil, but remains classy (and dignified) stuck in her elevator. And then his “You were in the skin of the balls” is said with such grace that we can only adore it.

23. For the performance of Bruno Moynot, the lesser known member of Le Splendid. His appearances in The Bronzed and Les Bronzés go skiing were sporadic (no name in the first, the weatherman in the second). He explodes here in the role of this very sticky Mr. Preskovic, the Bulgarian neighbor fine gourmet. A cult character played perfectly by a discreet but faithful man.

24. For this critique of Christmas commercialism and the morality associated with it: toys are junk and presents are annoying to everyone.

25. For Gérard Jugnot in one of his best roles (with Adolfo Ramirez of Grandpa resists). The actor is brilliant as a violent, lazy and assisted Santa Claus. It exudes an irresistible comic power carried by an all-purpose physique.

26. Because the film is original. Not badly copied, never equalled. “A lot of films have been released in which the scriptwriters have retained only the freaks, that is to say the marginal characters of the film, by removing the well-meaning couple who receive, offer gifts and are sadized by others. But the film was not there to shock but to bring together characters who have nothing to do with each other. If we make it a film intended to shock or not to shock, linked to morality or political correctness, it is not very interesting, ”explained Christian Clavier to us in June 2021.

27. “Are you married?” You never argued, did you? “- Yes, but never with a soldering iron. “- Well, it’s because you’re not a handyman!” (Felix to Peter).

28. Because the film will allow the artistic encounter between Jean-Marie Poiré and Christian Clavier. They would write and shoot eight more films together. One of the most prolific duos in French cinema.

29. To be able to text a friend every December 25: “Merry Christmas, Felix!” »

30. For this violent criticism of the French bureaucracy, which reasons four decades later: “Well, well, well, that’s all of Social Security. They give you a number, it doesn’t fit in the boxes. »

31. Because this film, very incorrect for the time, is even more so today. And the woke lookouts (or censors) have not yet taken care of the trial of this feature film where we make fun of the poor (what a horror), where we deliver a pregnant woman to her violent husband, where we castigate the “vices” of an invert (Katia) and in which a far too generous neighbor is sent back to his origins. Enjoy it, it won’t last.

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32. For these jokes in the background of the scenes: “I’m not a stationery, please bring your pen”; “A wipe on the handset is quick… and it’s nice… Especially in case of flu! We may (believe) know it by heart, each viewing brings up a funny situation or a play on words (like The City of Fear, In the same genre).

33. For the hope of seeing, why not, a sequel. Whether The Bronzed 3 is not the disaster that we have long wanted to present – ​​there are hilarious scenes, in particular the coming-out of the son of Bernard and Nathalie –, finding the heroes 40 years later could offer us a beautiful comedy. How can you resist the urge to hear from Katia, flourishing in a “gender-fluid” society, or to discover the face of Félix and Zézette’s child?

34. For Anemone, who probably signs his finest composition. Therese is ass-ass the praline, a little corny, but probably the least nasty of the bunch (the proof, she finishes the doubitchou, because “it’s offered with a good heart”).

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35. For the most erotic shower in French cinema.

36. For this cry from the heart (or elsewhere): “You are short-sighted in the eyes, short-sighted in the heart and short-sighted in the ass! »

37. For its unifying side: rarely has a film gone through so many generations. With the films of Louis de Funès or Visitors, Santa unites the whole family behind the small screen and perpetuates the French spirit. Attention all the same to the children: beyond the swear words, the legend of Santa Claus is damn tarnished there.

38. For this advice to all singles over 30: “Every jar has its lid. »

39. For Thierry Lhermitte, the white clown in the film. Each sentence of Pierre Mortez hits the mark and alternates between the ridiculous, the vulgar, the sublime, the contempt, the wickedness. Well-meaning character before his time, but badly acting, he is the archetype of the bastard we love.

40. For ultimately inventing the only timeless French Christmas film.


40 reasons to love “Santa Claus is garbage”