Just Visiting (2001)
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Let’s go back to 2001, a rough year for many of us after the 9/11 attacks. This was one of those movies that helped give a laugh through a terrible, terrible time in our history.
Just Visiting stars Jean Reno, Christina Applegate and a very young Tara Reid star in this hilarious story you may have missed or possibly forgotten. It’s on my list of favorites.
The movie is actually a remake of the French film Les Visiteurs. The storyline follows a medieval knight and his absolutely hilarious, mindless peasant who travels to 21st-century Chicago, meeting the knight’s descendant… by accident.
Here’s the gist… It’s 12th-century England, Lord Thibault Malféte is about to marry Princess Rosalind, the daughter of the reigning King. At the wedding banquet, by mistake, an enemy known as the Earl of Warwick gives Thibault a potion which makes him hallucinate (and which was actually intended for Rosalind by a witch hired and paid by the Earl), and under its influence, he kills his own bride (rather than her father, as in the French version) believing she is a ferocious monster.
Sentenced to death, he asks his servant, André Le Paté (Christian Clavier) to find a wizard (Malcolm McDowell) to help him. The wizard gives him a potion that was supposed to send him back to the moment before he killed Princess Rosalind. Problem is, the wizard played by Malcolm McDowell (who is absolutely stylin’ to the nines in wizardly fashion) messes up and instead of sending them back in time, he sends them forward in time to Chicago in the 21st century.
The insanity ensues, there are other things going on in the movie that are tied to Applegate, her past, her fiance’ and more but I’ll not blow it all for you. It really is a cute movie and the ‘peasant’ played by French actor Christian Clavier steals the show.
This was Hollywood Pictures’ final production before it folded into the management of its sister company, Touchstone Pictures until Hollywood Pictures released the 2006 horror movie Stay Alive and is one of the very last films to be distributed by it.
The movie was budgeted at 35 million dollars and didn’t fare so well at the box office bringing in only 16.2 million dollars. I still scratch my head at that. Many things going on in that time that affected a ton of movies released in Q1 of 2001 and this one was just one of the many casualties. To add insult to injury, the VHS and DVD release of the movie came on 9/11 so it really had no chance.
Source: Sal Amato