It's hard to say "French comedy" without remembering that Jerry Lewis received the French Legion of Honor. The award was instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte and medal winners include Jean Paul Sartre, Charles Lindbergh, Gustave Flaubert and others. Like Julia Child, Josephine Baker and Charlie Chaplin. So they recognize famous people and maybe one should draw conclusions about French humor from the films in the New Orleans Film Festival's annual French Film Festival at the Prytania Theatre this weekend, co-sponsored by the French Consulate. Focusing on comedies, the selection includes Les Bronzes (7:30 p.m., Friday), Tanguy (1:30 p.m., Saturday) and Les Visiteurs (1:30 p.m., Sunday). Les Bronzes is a spoof of a sexually liberated type of luxury resort, at which six amorous vacationers are confronted with a couple attempting an open marriage, an obese man trying to learn to ski and a bore who simply won't leave anyone alone. A more residential dread is the subject of Tanguy, in which a couple of parents are going to do whatever it takes to get their 28-year-old son to finally move out on his own. But the piece de resistance is Les Visiteurs, the record holder for French movie ticket sales until it was sunk by The Titanic in 1998. It's the story of a 12th century knight and his servant who are catapulted into modern society to hold a mirror up to our uncivilized ways. Mon dieu! Hilarity ensues.
Tickets $6, $5 film festival members. 7:30 p.m. Fri., July 28; 1:30 p.m. Sat., July 29; 1:30 p.m., Sun., July 30
Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St., 891-2787; www.neworleansfilmfest.com