A Pain in the Ass (L'emmerdeur) (2008)

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Released 9-Sep-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Theatrical Trailer-Madman Propaganda
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 84:09
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Francis Veber
Madman Entertainment
Starring Richard Berry
Patrick Timsit
Pascal Elbé
Virginie Ledoyen
Laurent Paolini
Michel Aumont
Cédric Chevalme
Laurie Lefret
José Paul
Stéphane Bierry
Mathieu Busson
Jérémie Covillault
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Jean-Michel Bernard
Tourdjman Valentin
Pierre-Yves Bruneel

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Francis Veber ‘s latest François Pignon affair is L'emmerdeur (2008) - a remake of the 1972 film of the same name. The original L'emmerdeur (1972) was based on the play “Le Contrat” by Veber, directed by Edouard Molinaro and starred Lino Ventura and Jacques Brel as Pignon.

    L'emmerdeur (1972) was remade as Billy Wilder’s Buddy Buddy (1981) which starred Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in the Pignon role – renamed Victor Clooney. Veber’s L'emmerdeur (2008) pairs Richard Berry and Patrick Timsit in the Pignon role. The question of which film is the definitive version of “Le Contrat” remains up to the viewer, but Veber’s dark take is certainly enjoyable.

    The film takes place predominately in a hotel suite. Jean, (Berry) a professional assassin, is waiting in his hotel room for his latest target Randoni (Michel Aumont) – a whistle blower, to arrive at court. Despite a heavy police presence and assorted press roaming outside the court house and surrounding hotel, Jean remains undeterred, and continues to quietly set up his high powered rifle.

    However in the adjoining room, François Pignon (Timsit) is again trying to get the attention of his ex-wife Louise, (Virginie Ledoyen) by threatening to commit suicide. Louise refuses to listen to Pignon’s threats and instead asks her psychologist and the man she left Pignon for - Dr. Edgar Wolf (Pascal Elbe), to check up on Pignon. But self-pitying Pignon takes matters into his own hands and searches around the hotel room for various ways to commit suicide.

    Unsurprisingly Pignon’s suicide attempt only creates chaos and Jean is asked by the kindly Vincent - a room service staff member (Laurent Paolini) to keep an eye on Pignon or otherwise he will be forced to call the police, as he himself is working and cannot care for Pignon. Jean reluctantly agrees to look after the clearly distraught Pignon and what follows are a series of unfortunate events as Jean tries to fulfil his job, while trying to get Pignon off his hands.

    Casting is excellent- Berry is very good as a man slowly driven mad by Pignon, Timsit, originally a comedian, is also commendable as the well meaning but excruciatingly frustrating Pignon. Also supporting cast member Elbe as the loathed Dr. Wolf, almost steals the show. Veber keeps the pace of the film swift as Jean and Pignon’s narrative is intercut with Randoni’s misadventures, as he unwillingly makes his way to the courthouse with a SWAT team. If you’re a Veber fan, there is much to enjoy in L'emmerdeur (2008) – it delivers everything a fan expects from the veteran director!

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in the theatrical aspect ratio of 2:35:1, the transfer is 16x9 enhanced and the image remains clear with excellent shadow depth and a natural and vibrant colour scheme.

    The feature film has been encoded on a single-layer DVD. However the transfer remains free of MPEG compression artefacts and is overall commendable. There were no incidents of aliasing.

    The English subtitles are ‘burnt’ on print in a clear white font.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is a single French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack option on the disc. There are no apparent errors on this soundtrack.

    The film is dialogue heavy, thus the stereo soundtrack is suitable.

    The original score is by Jean-Michel Bernard.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Audio

    The main menu features a still image of the the cover art and is accompanied by a section of the score. There are 12 scene selections and access to the extra features.

Theatrical Trailer (1:45)

Madman Propaganda

Le Placard (1:25) La Doublure (1:36), Après vous... (2:01) and Le Dîner de Cons (1:43).
The trailers can be viewed individually or as a play all feature.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This title is currently available in France (R2). The DVD has a French DTS soundtrack. The extra feature content is unknown.


    If you’re a Veber fan, there is much to enjoy in L'emmerdeur (2008) – it delivers everything a fan expects from the veteran director! The Madman DVD release is adequate with solid picture and sound.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Friday, November 20, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDOPPO DV-980H, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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