First-time director Samuel Benmchetrit's 2003 debut Janis et John (Janis and John) follows the comedic exploits of a down-on-his luck insurance salesman as he attempts to make up for some very poor financial decisions. Pablo Sterni (Sergi Lopez), the aforementioned insurance salesman, has, until recently, been an honest business man. As of late, though, Pablo had been siphoning money from one of his more successful client's accounts -- one that covers a very expensive sports car. When that client, Mr. Cannon (Jean-Louis Trintignant), turns in a loss claim for that car for a half-million francs, Pablo finds himself in a tight spot. Inspiration strikes when Pablo learns that his hippy-dippy cousin Leon (Christopher Lambert, billed as Christophe Lambert) has just inherited a million francs from his recently deceased father. Leon, a perpetually stoned record store owner, lives solely for the day his 1973 vision of John Lennon and Janis Joplin's Christ-like return to Earth is fulfilled. After visiting with his cousin, Pablo decides to assist Leon in reliving his dream -- as well as parting him with much of his inheritance -- by convincing his wallflower wife, Brigitte (Marie Trintignant, murdered mere weeks before the film's debut, thus marking her final film appearance) and an out-of-work actor (François Cluzet) to impersonate Janis and John. Janis et John was selected for inclusion in the 2003 Montreal World Film Festival.
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