Differences in storyline
I was surprised by the number of differences between the two film versions. First of all, Jack was an actor in the American film as opposed to a steward in the French version. Peter had a girlfriend whereas Pierre was an unattached bachelor. And at the end, the three men invited Sylvia and Mary to move in with them in the American version, whereas they only offered to help out in the French version. They were other differences, but these were some big ones that involved the characters.
I forgot to ask a question: do you think the differences between the two mothers in the films reflects a difference in culture? For instance, in the French version, Jack had to go see his mother, while in the American version she came to see him. What is the relationship between parents and their grown children in France?
relationship between parents and grown up children
Pour répondre à Nisha, je pense qu'on ne peut pas définir "en général" les relations des parents avec leurs enfants adultes. C'est très personnel, et ça dépend complètement des familles je crois. L'idée que j'en ai, pour ma famille, c'est que en général, les parents restent en contact avec leurs enfants. Je ne sais pas si ce sont les parents qui se déplacent le plus souvent, où si ce sont leurs enfants... Ca dépend. Chez nous, nous sommes une famille très nombreuse, et comme nous n'habitons pas tous dans la même région de France, pour que ce ne soient pas toujours les mêmes qui se déplacent, nous nous retrouvons chaque fois dans une ville différente. Par contre, une partie de ma famille habite dans la même région, et nous nous voyons souvent (une fois par mois environ). Ceci dit, je connais des jeunes adultes qui ne voient plus du tout leur parents, (en fait j'en connais deux), et dans les deux cas, c'est parce que la personne qu'ils ont épousée et les parents ne peuvent pas se supporter, je trouve ça dommage, mais je pense que c'est rare.
lationship between parents and their grown children in France
Les "enfants" mariés et ayant des enfants en France invitent leurs parents à déjeuner le week end ou leur rendent visite. Je ne pense pas que les enfants doivent toujours faire le premier pas et aller vers les parents s'ils ont un problème.
This may be getting a bit of the point of the story line. anyway, i agree with Sandrine that how ofen you see your family is largely a function of distance and not necessarily a cultural issue. If me and my brother lived on opposite sides of the country i would rarely see him, but since he lives close by, i see him often. what interests me more is how much time we would spend with our respective families if possible (meaning that distance wasn't a factor.) From the time i have spent with my two "surrogate" families in Europe (one in Belgium and one in Germany) i have found that the families seem to be more tightly knit together than in America. By this i mean that they have family dinners with everyone in the region more often and in general do more things together as a family. If any of you have spent time in America, have you noticed the same type of thing (or the opposite thing) here?
Hello- just moving this over to the correct forum so that everyone can see it- Over all, there were not very many differences between the two movies. In the French version, the guys seemed a lot more mad when Jack returned. They yelled a lot and blamed him for everything. They were trying to preserve their manhood, which was much more obviously threatened in the French version. In the French version, the baby was shown as a hindrance in all scenes, especially when the girl and the guests left. In the English version, when his girlfriend saw him singing to the baby, it actually improved their relationship, and in the 'happy ending' it helps them to pick up girls at the park. Does this say anything about French culture, or do you think that this English ending is unrealistic? The 80's had a completely different atmosphere, but a woman would be stupid to go home with a man just because he has a child. Also, I noticed that in the English version, Jack's mother actually turned him down so that he could learn to be a good father. In the French version she was just too busy to have a relationship with him, let alone her own granddaughter. Do the French make it a priority to keep in touch with family after moving out of the house? Maybe this can be explained by Americans catering to a specific audience. She was seen as the perfect grandmother type; always doing the right thing for her children. Certain scenes were changed to provoke emotion and keep the public's interest. I don't think the American version would have made it big if it weren't for the car chase or the part where they catch the robbers single-handed. These parts are unrealistic, but so are most American movies.
The Police and The Criminals
One minor difference that I noticed after watching the American version was that the drug dealers were caught by the police whereas in the French version they were not. I think the dealers were caught in the American version because the three men thought they should help the police. This is a theme that shows up over and over again in American movies. The bad guy is always caught and it is normally because of some civilian going out of their way to help the police. I was just wondering why the French students believe that the people who wrote the script for TROIS HOMMES ET UN COUFFIN didn't have the drug dealers getting caught? Do the French believe that it is easy to get away with crimes like that? Or do you feel you have an obliation to help the police catch the criminals? Do you feel like the three men in the French version are criminals because they are accessories to the crime?
Drugs in the movies
I think, to add to what Owen said, that due to the war on drugs in America, Hollywood was concerned with having the drug dealers get caught. Our country has been obsessed for some time with the idea that drugs are one of the greatest evils in society. I didn't get a similar feeling watching the French version of the movie. I know that similar drugs are illegal in France, but what is the public preception of drugs? Are dealers evil, and what is France doing to stop the spread of drugs?
Is this idea of a second mother, or a nanny, common in France? This didn't show up in the American version, so I was wondering how common such a person was in France. I have only seen live-in nanny's in the richest homes, and it is not a job that I find common.
What a home!
In the French version of the film, the three men live in an amazing appartment. It is much larger than the appartment for the Americans, or at least I got a feeling from the movie that it was much larger. I know that housing is more expensive in France, and I can tell that the American appartment was expensive to begin with, so I was wondering how realistic it was that the French men were living in such an amazing place. How much do you imagine a place like that would cost to rent?
Differences in Socioeconomic Status
I thought it was quite interesting that the three main male characters in Three Men and a Baby seemed much better off financially than those in Trois Hommes et Un Couffin. Jack was an actor, Peter was a famous architect, and Michael was a famous cartoonist. In contrast, Jacques was a steward, while Pierre and Michel did not seem that well-to-do. Also, after the baby Mary arrived, Trois Hommes et Un Couffin really stressed the fact that the men were missing a lot of work whereas missing work wasn't a problem in Three Men and a Baby. In general, do popular French movies deal with people of average socioeconomic status or those who are extremely well-off? What possible reasons did the French director or storywriters have to stress that money was tight for Jacques, Pierre, and Michel?