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Q: Another Guess the movie question. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Another Guess the movie question.
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Movies and Film
Asked by: mongolia-ga
List Price: $11.00
Posted: 30 Mar 2005 15:43 PST
Expires: 29 Apr 2005 16:43 PDT
Question ID: 502903
Good Day

I saw a bit of a French Movie recently on TV but unfortunately I did
not get its title. ( I was unable to see the beginning and end of the

The gist of the plot is that a man gets sacked from his high level position 
with his company. However  he continues to make his Family , relatives and
friends believe he is still working at the same company by "going" to
work each day. Part of the smoke screen he puts up is that he has to
travel to Geneva ( a reasonable car drive over the border from where
he lives) to negotiate an international contract. He drives to Geneva
where he enters the premises of an international organisation and
wonders around until he is asked to leave by a security guard.
The film would have been made quite recently (probably year 2000 or later)
If anyone can tell me the name of this film , I will be eternally grateful.      
Subject: Re: Another Guess the movie question.
Answered By: markj-ga on 30 Mar 2005 16:06 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
mongolia --

The film you remember just has to be "L'emploi du temps."

Here is an excerpt from a plot summary of the film at the Internet
Movie Database website, which contains all of the elements that you

"Vincent, a corporate consultant, has been fired but doesn't tell his
wife and three children. Instead he goes out on long, hypnotic drives
to Switzerland where he sleeps in his car, wanders hotels and
corporate headquarters, and eventually pretends to be working at an
important new job for the UN. This life seems to suit him more than
his real job ever did. Later to make up for his lack of income he
develops a scam whereby he gets friends and former coworkers to donate
money expecting a quick return on investments in the Third World. A
shipper of illegal imports and knockoffs spots Vincent and recruits
him to help with his business. Family and friends eventually realize
they're being duped and Vincent is in all kinds of deep trouble, but
the ending is not what one would expect."

IMDb: Plot Summary: L' emploi du temps

Here is a link to the main IMDb listing for this 2001 film:

IMDb: L' emploi du temps

Search Strategy:

I tried several searches at the IMDb site in the "Plot Summary"
category and found the summary quoted above by using the search terms
"french" and "fired."

I am confident that this film is the one you remember.  In the
unlikely (I think) event that this is the wrong film, please ask for
clarification and I will keep looking.


Clarification of Answer by markj-ga on 31 Mar 2005 03:36 PST
mongolia --

Thanks to cryptica-ga's thoughfully cryptic comment, I offer you
another possibility for the film in question --  "L'adversaire," a
2002 film starring Daniel Auteuil.

IMDb: Combined Details: L'adversaire

The plot appears to differ in some critical ways from "L'emploi du
temps" (e.g., the protagonist in "L'adversaire" is a doctor). Because
of this, I believe that my original answer is correct, based on your
description of the film you saw (which guided my original research).
But there seems to be no doubt that they are inspired by the same
basic story line.  Here are excerpts of two IMDb "user comments" on
"L' adversaire":

"L'adversaire was based on a tragedy that truly happened some ten
years ago. But it didn't just inspire one, but two directors. The
other one is L'emploi du temps, by Laurent Cantet."

IMDb: L'adversaire: User Comments: Arnoud Veilbrief 

"Chilling French suspense tale (based on a true story) of a seemingly
well-to-do doctor, a husband and father, who turns out to be a
complete fraud. He pretends to go to work in a prestigious medical
building but all he does is loiter and kill time until he has to
return home. He takes money from family and friends, pretending to
invest it in foreign ventures... but he just uses their money to live
on, buying his family more expensive homes and automobiles (plus a
hot, young mistress for himself)."

IMDb: L'adversaire: User Comments: Hokeybutt

If any of the above (including my original answer) requires further
clarification, please let me know.

mongolia-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Many thanks. This is indeed the film. I did not realise it was so famous
When I checked the second website in the answer it would seem to me that 
"Time Out" and "L'emploi du temps" are actually the same films.
"Time Out" I believe is merely the english equivalent to French title.   
When film titles are translated to foreign languages quite often the
translation is anything but direct. For example "On Golden Pond" title
French is "La Maison sur le Lac" 
I believe I saw the film on Channel 4. (in French with English sub titles)


Subject: Re: Another Guess the movie question.
From: cryptica-ga on 30 Mar 2005 21:25 PST
Markj-ga --

I really want you to get the research fee, so won't get specific, but
look around a little more, just in case L'Emploi isn't the film
Magnolia saw.

See, there's a SECOND film with the same plot line as L'Emploi du
Temps," which is known here as "Time Out."   Both films are based on
the life of a real guy and real events in France.  It's a pretty
famous story over there.  I've never seen "Time Out," but have seen
the other one, which stars a famous French actor.   If Magnolia
remembers what channel the the movie aired on, it would be easy to
figure out which version is "it."     How's that for clues?!
Subject: Re: Another Guess the movie question.
From: markj-ga on 31 Mar 2005 03:39 PST
mongolia --

Thanks for the stars and the tip.

Subject: Re: Another Guess the movie question.
From: cryptica-ga on 31 Mar 2005 09:25 PST
Bravo, Markj! I knew you'd find it. 

But wait! I'm confused.  Which film did Mognolia actually see?
L'Emploi du Temps (Time Out) or L'Adversaire (The Adversary)?

I saw "L'Adversaire" at the French Film Festival in New York a few
years ago.  and it's a haunting film and pretty damn creepy.  It stays
with you. But Mognolia, if you didn't see the end of the film . . .oh,
my.  Just how far did you get? The ending is nothing like the rest of
the film.

FYI, the real life guy that inspired both movies is Jean- Claude
Romond, who fooled everyone for 18 years and I believe is still in
prison.  If you Google him, you'll find lots of stuff about the case. 
And there's also a famous book about this called THE ADVERSARY: A TRUE

There was a Q & A with the director after the film and I was
astonished at how many people had read the book, knew the case
backwards and forwards and had seen Time Out.   And they weren't even
Subject: Re: Another Guess the movie question.
From: mongolia-ga on 01 Apr 2005 04:01 PST

The film I saw definately WAS "L'Emploi Du Temps"

"L'Adversaire" was not the film. Although there are similiarities in
the storylines described, there are also key differences. The film I
saw made no reference to a doctor nor did the key character appear to
have a mistress!


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