This is the 2001 remake of the French film Les Visiteurs (The Visitors) that came out in 1993 and became one of the highest grossing films in that country’s history. According to a New York Times figure, the movie made just shy of $100 million dollars globally, although only a tiny portion of that was in the United States. When Miramax Films release a subtitled version around 1996, following a Mel Brooks supervised dub that was shelved, it made $650,000 here, which isn’t terrible for a foreign film but far from what they were likely expecting. There have been two sequels to Les Visiteurs in France, one in 1998 and the other in 2016.
This American remake took the same comedic duo at its heart (Jean Reno and Christian Clavier) and transposed the time travel story from modern day France to modern day Chicago. The story set-up, in a nutshell: In medieval France, Count Thibault (Reno) is en route to marry the gorgeous Princess Rosalind (Christina Applegate) into a marriage of political and financial benefit to both. Both when his drink is spiked, he views her as a demon and slays her at the banquet, marking him for death. But his faithful servant (Clavier) finds a wizard (Malcolm McDowell) who concocts a potion to send them back in time and stop the event from happening. Instead, they are teleported into the future where they encounter Rosalind’s descendant and double (Applegate again) and enlist her help in getting back to their own time and making things right.
It was fun to watch both the original and remake and compare and contrast the two versions. The French original is superior, but the American remake has its charms thanks to Applegate’s presence. She really is underrated.
The following are reviews for my work on Just Visiting. Click on the logo to go to each review site directly.
” It’s not often we get a new audio commentary track for a relatively obscure film that’s two decades old. Well, this would be the exception to that rule. In this new track we find journalist and author Bryan Reesman as he discusses the film, its antecedent (Les Visiteurs) as well as everything in between. It’s a nice bonus to have and certainly didn’t come expected. Fans will love this one, especially since it’s new.”
“in this new audio commentary, entertainment journalist and author Bryan Reesman discusses the original film that inspired Just Visiting and highlights some of the similarities and differences between the two, some of the key ideas these films, the production history of the remake, specific locations that were used in it, [and] its critical reception.”