By People Staff
January 29, 1996 12:00 PM

Victoria Abril, Josiane Balasko, Alain Chabat

In a bar, a philandering husband (Chabat) flirtatiously lights the cigarette of a woman other than his wife. Back home, a woman (Balasko) who has come into the house after her truck broke down, flirtatiously lights the cigarette of the man’s wife (Abril). Yes, it’s parallel lighting. Soon, in this Gallic update of Bob, no Ted, but Carol and Alice, the two women are declaring their love, the husband is fuming (and still fumer-ing), and the battle has begun over who sleeps with the wife.

French Twist is meant to shock and amuse. It does neither unless you haven’t been to the movies since Rock Hudson chased Doris Day around a penthouse. And though bourgeois attitudes toward love and marriage are clearly the target, the jokes—the husband gets so drunk he bicycles into a pigpen, the wife announces that she will sleep three nights with each and, on the seventh, she will rest—are mild stuff.

In fact, cast Loni Anderson as the trucker, Valerie Bertinelli as the wife, Alan Thicke as the cuckolded husband, and have Betty White cameo as the old whore who counsels the errant hubby, and you have the makings of a sweeps-week TV movie that will have ’em yukking it up at the watercooler. (R)