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Readers recommend: The best French comedy films and TV series

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Readers recommend: The best French comedy films and TV series
French director Claude Zidi (L) the César Award for Best Director for the film "Les Ripoux" during the 10th ceremony of the Césars in Paris. (Photo by Jean-Loup GAUTREAU and Pierre VERDY / AFP)

There are so many great French comedies to choose from - readers of The Local have recommended a few of the best ones that will have you laughing out loud and also give an insight into French culture.


In an effort to disprove the weirdly persistent stereotype that the French aren't funny, The Local came up with a list of some of the best funny French films and TV series - find our recommendations here.

But we also asked our readers to suggest some ideas, and more suggestions came flooding in.

Here are the French comedies readers of The Local recommend you watch - because humour is a great insight into a country's culture, you will probably also learn something about France and the French from these . . .


Les Ripoux (My New Partner)

The satire on police corruption follows René, a laid-back, crooked cop working in a crime-heavy Parisian neighbourhood. René - who is not too concerned with playing by the rules - is paired up with a rookie officer, François whose idealistic attitude contrasts with that of his supervisor. 

Reader Mike Gibb described the Les Ripoux as a "likeable buddy film contrasting cynical and corrupt police inspector Philippe Noiret and his new idealistic partner Thierry Lhermitte. Directed by Claude Zidi, it has lots of running gags, fine one-liners and good interplay between the leads." 

Le père Noël est une ordure (Santa Claus is a stinker)

One reader recommended this 1982 film, which tells the story of Pierre - a self-important volunteer working at a helpline for depressed people. He ends up stuck manning the phone on Christmas Eve, with his naive coworker Thérèse when they are visited by some unexpected and eccentric callers.


It was remade in the US as 'Mixed Nuts', but the original is well-worth the watch.

Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe)

This 1972 film tells the story of François Perrin, a violinist who is unexpectedly mistaken for being a secret agent, leading the French secret service to follow him and try to get information from him. They send Christine, the beautiful femme fatale to convince him to give away his secrets.

Reader S.Sturman recommended this 1972 film, writing: "It’s one of my favourite French comedies. I saw it when it first came out and I laughed my butt off. It stars Pierre Richard, one of the best comedic actors of that era of French cinema, joined by a cast of familiar French film actors."


Sturman also recommended "any film by Jacques Tati is worth watching for his unique eye for silliness in everyday life."

In terms of where to watch, Sturman said: "It’s available on Amazon Prime in France – French only."


Directed by the trio of Bruno Romy, Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon, this 2008 semi-silent film moves to its own beat. It tells the story of a couple who both work as schoolteachers, but share a passion for dance.

Reader of The Local, Tony, described the lead characters as "Latin American style dancers who are totally chaotic and following a car accident have their lives turned upside down."

Paris pieds nus (Lost in Paris)

Starring Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordan again, this film follows a Canadian librarian attempting to find her missing 88-year-old aunt in Paris. Along the way she encounters "meets a homeless person who is her nemesis", as Tony summarised.

The film received several awards and nominations at the 8th Magritte Awards.


This 2011 film was recommended by one reader for being "brilliant and funny in so many ways. The American version, however, in my opinion, is toe-curlingly bad! You really must watch it in the original."

Starring Omar Sy, the 'buddy comedy' was inspired by a true story and was nominated for several César awards.

Touching and funny, Intouchables tells the story of wealthy widower Philippe, who is a quadriplegic, and his live-in caretaker Driss. 


TV shows and series

Family Business

The French television series, which can be streamed on Netflix, tells the story of an extended family of Parisians who seeks to open a marijuana coffee shop after hearing a rumour that marijuana is about to be legalised in France.

They become embroiled with Dutch crime bosses after the grandmother discovers an unexpected talent for cultivating new strains of the drug.  

One reader described it as simply "hilarious!" and it's also a great workout for your French as the family speak in super-fast working class Paris slang. 

Scènes de ménages

This French series began in 2009 and has been aired on the M6 channel ever since.

One reader described it to The Local as "short sketches (2-3min) concerning six separate households. Increasingly amusing as you get to know the quirks of each character. The youngest couple speak extremely quickly, so good for practising aural comprehension."


Thank you to everyone who left their recommendations - feel free to add more in the comments section below


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