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In this charming comedy, François (Daniel Auteuil) is an arrogant antique dealer who comes to the realization that his closest acquaintances don't like him and he has no friends. His business partner Catherine (Julie Gayet) makes him a bet: If he can produce his best friend, she will let him keep the massive Greek vase he acquired that afternoon. If not, it's hers. When calls to unlikely contacts turn fruitless, François implores Bruno (Dany Boon), a truly likable cabbie, to teach him the secrets of lovability. Directed and co-written by legendary French filmmaker Patrice Leconte (Intimate Strangers, Man on the Train, The Hairdresser's Husband).
 

 My Best Friend

I’ve made films about love and friendship before, but I have never made a film where friendship itself was the subject. So when Jérôme Tonnerre approached me with the story for My Best Friend, I immediately expressed my enthusiasm and we started writing.

I was excited to write the story of a guy convinced he has many friends but then realizes that he, in fact, doesn’t have any. Acquaintances, co-workers, friends in passing but never a true friend.

Every one of us, in some form or another, can recognize themselves in the character of François: Who are our friends? Who is my best friend? And, are we obligated to have a best friend? We have all asked ourselves these questions at some point or another. In any case, I know that audiences will ask themselves this question after seeing my film.

The casting process, like on any film, was important for My Best Friend. Since Daniel Auteuil quickly took over the role of François (this character that has no friends), I had, I must admit, even more trouble deciding on the role of Bruno, a character that is sympathetic with everyone and who everyone finds sympathetic. Several options were possible.

There is one thing I have never talked about with anyone since I made this film. There was a moment during the preparation and casting of the film where I imagined that the role of Bruno could be played by a woman (the first name of the character would have been changed, of course). I was very enthusiastic about this idea because it allowed me to speak about something rarely dealt with in films, something that I am passionate and troubled about: friendship between a man and a woman.

This idea stayed with me for a week; I even discussed the part with an actress I thought was ideal. But then I realized that it would not work for this script as it would be impossible to completely ignore their romantic feelings. So I offered the part to Dany Boon and he is exceptional! And even better: Daniel Auteuil and he didn’t know each other prior to My Best Friend, but have since become the best of friends.

I am still convinced, though, that the film about friendship between a man and a woman needs to be made.