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Gauls appalled at H'w'd villians.

They've seen Vincent tassel bested by George Clooney and company--twice--in "Ocean's Twelve" and "Thirteen." They've watched Bruce Willis blow up French baddies in "Live Free and Die Hard." And many may even have had a few laughs despite themselves at Sacha Baron Cohen as a pompous, nasty (and gay) "Formule Une" driver in "Talladega Nights."

But French media have had enough of theft" countrymen being Hollywood's latest villains from the wrong side of the pond--a role long held by Brits.

Le Monde recently reminisced wistfully at the long-gone days when the French "were hailed as nonchalant, heroic Resistance fighters ... before Hollywood cast a caustic eye on the venal Chirac and his band of capitulators."

Left-wing daily Liberation was shocked and awed that the "Die Hard 4" terrorists could "speak the language of Moliere which to the imperialist Yankee ear sounds the same as the voice of a Nazi or a Paki." Gaul-bashing is also risk-free, in Liberation's eyes: "Italian-Americans or Chinese-Americans are communities. Others, such as the Arab lobby, are more vigilant."

For Paris Match, the typical Frenchman a la Tinseltown in this era of freedom fries is "a smoker, not very clean, vain, craven and unreliable. He has come to embody the depraved morals of 'Old Europe' as evoked by Bush.... Each of his defeats displays American superiority."

All of which begets the age-old question of whether French scribes need a collective chill pill.

At least Julie Delpy seems to have been given a pass as writer-director of "2 Days in Paris," perhaps due to her ability to deftly and charmingly play off French and American stereotypes.

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Title Annotation:Smoke & Mirrors: BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE BIZ'S DEALS, DECISIONS AND DIVERSIONS; French people's reaction how they are portrayed in movies
Author:Hayhurst, David
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 30, 2007
Words:268
Previous Article:Refashioned festivals.
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