George Clooney's latest film The Monuments Men follows a bunch of middle-aged allied soldiers tasked with rescuing art pieces looted by the Nazis. The production has received bad reviews but I personally think there is something special about it. Being a devoted Allo Allo fan I see this Clooney flick as a very successful attempt of taking my favorite UK TV series to the film format.
First thing is the accents. The whole humour in Allo Allo is based on the British cast executing extremely bad French and German impersonations. In The Monuments Men acclaimed actress Cate Blanchett pulls off one of the most hilarious stunts in her career by pretending to be French while Matt Damon hits the nail on the head with a purposely bad French accent. I was tempted to close my eyes when listening to these two and nostalgically drift off to happy days of my childhood when Michelle of the resistance and the English pilots were my biggest heroes.
As with Allo Allo, The Monuments Men is centered around subject of war and yet features hardly any battle scenes. The characters in both productions are pretty passive and despite their best intentions they never actually do anything. Most of the time they sit in the cafes discussing sabotage plans and it is the accidental things happening to them that drive the whole story forward. The turning point for The Monuments Men is the moment when the youngest of the team overhears the conversation of German soldiers which is then followed by the series of fortuitous circumstances. René of Allo Allo also constantly gets tangled up in a chain of random events and always ends up as an accidental hero.
I can not resist comparing Cate Blanchett's character to Helga of Allo Allo - not only in the appearance but although at first reserved she is desperate to offer herself to matt Damon (who is sadly missing the sexy limp of Herr Flick of Gestapo).
Finally, the most obvious parallel in the two films is the leading task. Clooney and the gang in The Monuments Men are to save the sculpture of Michelangelo's Madonna. In Allo Allo René and his comrades are always on the case of securing the painting of Fallen Madonna With Big Boobies. That makes the scripts almost identical!
I sincerely recommend a cinema trip to see The Monuments Men. But please do remember to warm yourself up with few episodes of Allo Allo beforehand.