Directed by Jean-Marie Gaubert. Starring Jean Reno, Christian Clavier and Christina Applegate.
A remake of the hugely successful 1993 French comedy, Les Visiteurs, Just Visiting sees the European lead actors, as well as the director, reprising their original roles. The plot involves a medieval duo who find themselves accidentally transported 800 years into the future and - in a geographical twist on the original movie - across the Atlantic.
Cue much (supposed) hilarity of the fish-out-of-water variety as the bewildered heroes negotiate modern-day Chicago. Christina Applegate co-stars, as both a 12th century royal English bride-to-be and her American descendant, engaged to a gold-digging, scheming villain of a fiancé.
The flimsy narrative, involving attempts to rectify the time-travelling blunder which has placed the future/present in jeopardy, traces the shifting balance of power in the various relationships. Notions such as liberty and equality - interpreted the American way - are explored through the use of mainly slapstick humour. Applegate is effective as a perplexed but sympathetic foil to the antics of Reno's displaced French nobleman and his hapless squire, played with enthusiasm by Clavier.
This is an inane comedy of manners, complete with some clever, if not particularly entertaining, special effects and the odd mildly amusing moment. The acting is competent, if uninspired, caricature with the gags becoming visibly more laboured as the film drags along. Some welcome creative flair is displayed by the costume and production design teams, most notably in the creation of beautiful interiors. Ultimately, though, this is pointless, irritatingly unsophisticated stuff, and not worth the endurance test that, at a mere 88 minutes, it somehow manages to be.