‘Serial (Bad) Weddings’ Not Bland Enough for the United States?

Philippe de Chauveron’s film, judged too politically incorrect, will not be released in the United States.

In the United States, there’s no joking about Jews, blacks or Arabs. Philippe de Chauveron’s movie “Serial (Bad) Weddings” just found that out at its own expense. According to “Le Point,” the film will not be released overseas, despite its record sales in France.

The pitch? A very old-fashioned Catholic couple from Chinon who see their four daughters marry, respectively, a Jew, an Arab, a Chinese man, and a black man, with Christian Clavier and Chantal Lauby in the roles of the bourgeois racists. Too politically incorrect. The American producers would rather not take the risk of triggering “too big a controversy at home,” explains Sabine Chemlay, International Sales Director at TF1. “They have a cultural approach that’s very different from ours.”

The Same Fate as “The Untouchables”

The British, despite being known for their dark and acerbic sense of humor, are leaning toward the same choice as Uncle Sam’s country. According to “Le Point,” they imagine a remake that is more compatible with Anglo-Saxon culture — a watered-down version, then. The differences and stereotypes the film plays with don’t make people laugh outside our own country’s boundaries: “We live with it, but we don’t accept the caricature on the subject, even with the perspective that comedy brings,” analyzes Sabine Chemaly.

Before “Serial (Bad) Weddings,” the movie “The Untouchables” bumped up against the same problem. The story of the friendship between a rich disabled man and his black caregiver, played by François Cluzet and Omar Sy, was judged “racist.” For American critics, the role played by Omar Sy was “barely removed from the jolly house slave of yore, entertaining the master while embodying all the usual stereotypes about class and race,” says Le Parisien.

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