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It’s Christmas Eve. We see people walking on the streets doing last minute shoppings, and as always, men dressed up like Santa Claus. One of them is Felix (Gerard Jugnot); he’s giving away flyers advertising some strip night club. He’s rude to some kid, gets kicked out of that street, and after stealing something from a street merchant he is chased. He goes to his home - a trailer with rabbit cages and not very clean.

In an apartment on some building’s last floor, Madame Musquin (Josiane Balasko), Therese (Anemone) and Pierre Mortez (Thierry Lhermitte) run a phone line – SOS Detresse – for those who need to talk about their problems or feel lonesome.  Therese is answering several calls when Josette (Marie-Anne Chazel) tries to call her from a phone booth. In the meantime, Mme Musquin is leaving for her family’s Christmas dinner; she goes down through the elevator, and it suddenly stops.

Back to Felix’s caravan, he’s drinking some wine when the pregnant Josette enters and tells him she’s leaving him. He’s aggressive and Josette runs away from him, knocking some rabbits cages down.

In the apartment, Therese answers a phone call from a man in a phone booth, holding a gun to his own head; the phone line is weak and they can’t hear each other properly, and so Therese tells the man to push the button. He understands it differently and pulls the trigger… Therese thinks the man hung up. We see Therese is knitting some gloves; she says those 3 finger gloves are for the children with leprosy in Jakarta.

Pierre receives a call from a man that claims to be lonely, and that doesn’t know who he is. It’s Katia (Christian Clavier); she asks if it’s possible to drop by SOS. Pierre says it’s against the rules, but then agrees in giving away their address. After this, he answers another call from a man saying he’s very ill and with 2 months to live, so he’d like to wish Merry Christmas to a woman; Pierre calls Therese on the phone, and the man turns out to be a pervert that likes to say dirty things to women.

One of their apartment neighbour knocks saying that Mme Musquin has been blowing on a horn (it’s was a present for one of her nephews) for at least half an hour. While Pierre is trying to fix the elevator’s fuse box, Therese receives another phone call from Josette saying she’s going to SOS’s apartment. Pierre is unable to fix the fuse box and they call for a repair man.

In the meantime, Pierre gets curious about Therese’s Christmas present to him, so they decide to exchange presents; Therese’s present is a badly knitted grey vest for Pierre.

Suddenly, another neighbour knocks: it’s Mr. Preskovitch (Bruno Moynot), a Bulgarian emigrant, that decided to bring them “dubitchous” – some weird biscuits, he says that are prepared with synthetic cacao, margarine and saccharine, according to traditional methods: rolled by hand under the armpits…


Pierre then shows Therese’s present; it’s a painting portraying her walking naked along with a pig.

Still stuck, Mme Musquin calls out again because she needs to go to the bathroom. Pierre then decides to pull her off from the elevator’s top, but Josette arrives and calls the elevator; first Mme Musquin is only held by Pierre’s arms, but as the elevator got higher, they luckily escape being crushed.

Josette tries to hide herself from Felix in the apartment (who was following her since the phone booth call), they argue and she hits him with an iron. Pierre and Therese decide to take him to the nearest pharmacy to get treatment; as they were leaving, Mr. Preskovitch shows up again bringing “kloug”,  a sort of Christmas roll.

Josette is left alone with Mme Musquin, when the phone rings. It’s the pervert again! But this time Mme Musquin stands up to him, and it is he who hangs up this time. Mme Musquin goes back to the elevator to get some presents she has left there. Katia then enters the building, and pushes the elevator button; Mme Musquin was still in it, and once again the elevator stops in the middle of its descent.

Katia gets to SOS’s apartment, where she finds Josette alone filling out some forms. Katia’s walking weirdly because she’s lost one of her boot’s heel. Katia then tries to help Josette with the forms, but they don’t get along too well, and Josette kicks Katia in the leg, and leaves the apartment.

In the pharmacy, and after taking an overdose of pills so he could kill himself over Josette’s abandon, Felix is getting a stomach wash.

Josette gets to the pharmacy and warns Pierre that Mme Musquin is stuck again, so he hurries back to his building. When he gets there, he finds Mme Musquin out of the elevator, and a bit confused after some electric shock she took. She then leaves the building.

Due to Mme Musquin’s electric shock, the building runned out on electricity. Pierre goes to the apartment, where he finds Katia; at first he only hears her voice, and recognizes the man from the phone call, but as the light returns he gets scared to see it’s a transvestite. They start talking, but Pierre is obviously not comfortable doing it.

In the pharmacy we now see the police and an ambulance taking Felix away, after a number of aggressions between Felix, Therese, the pharmacist and Josette.

Watch this scene here

Katia is sharing facts about her life with Pierre, and she asks him if he wants to dance with her; he agrees obviously against his will, what can be seen in the way they dance. Mme Musquin’s car won’t start so she returns to the apartment and see Pierre and Katia dancing.

Therese and Josette drop by a bar, have a drink, and buy some wine and oysters to take away. They’re arriving at the building and find Mme Musquin leaving; she tells them that Pierre is upstairs dancing with a woman. Pierre says some nasty things to Katia, and she leaves before Therese and Josette arrive.

Later on, Pierre, Josette and Therese have dinner; Pierre while eating answers also phone calls. Someone rings at the door… it’s Katia saying she forgot her lighter; on leaving the apartment, she’s starts crying.

After some time, Katia cheered up and joins dinner, when Mr Preskovitch enters with another “kloug” (the first one got ruined in the pharmacy); when Therese is about to slice it, the knife breaks and a strange smell is released from the “kloug”. Pierre tells everyone that he’ll put the kloug on the windowsill so it could get colder; on purpose, he drops it out on the street and it falls on a car. Mr Preskovitch leaves to collect it outside. 

Pierre and Therese are clearing the table, and Katia is making a phone call; they soon discover it’s a long-distance call to Tahiti and get angry over it. Someone knocks on the door…it’s Felix with a gun, telling Josette to come back with him or else he’ll shoot everyone. The only one who stands up to him is Katia, and she gets shot in the foot.

The wound is simply a scratch; Pierre starts the medical aid, while Josette and Therese take the gun out of Felix’s hands. Josette says it’s better to empty the gun, but instead of removing the bullets, she starts shooting away. Some shots are in the door’s direction, when the door bell starts to ring; Pierre opens the door to find the elevator repair man killed.

Pierre decides to call the police, but Therese starts to panic and has a hard time breathing, so he and Josette help her to go to the bathroom, leaving the phone on Felix’s hands; he obviously hangs it up. Pierre then returns to putting some bandages over Katia’s foot, while Therese tells Josette to get her a drink from the kitchen.

In the kitchen, Felix is cutting the dead-body into pieces, and Josette helps him. Therese is having a shower and calls out Pierre; he leaves Katia and enters the bathroom to find Therese naked asking him to rub her. They get intimate and end up having sex in the bathtub.

Katia gets tired of waiting for someone to help her and lifts out of bed; she then goes to her purse to take some pills, and heads to the kitchen for some water. Felix stops her from entering the kitchen and tells her to get water from the bathroom; there she sees Therese and Pierre in the bathtub.

After that she puts up her coat and decides to leave the apartment. Felix sees her and she tells him she’s heading for the police; when she turns back on him, he hits her with a chair, and she faints. Pierre and Therese are back on the living room to find Katia on the sofa, and a number of strange Christmas packings on the floor; Josette and Felix tell them they wrapped the body parts.

We then see everyone at the Zoo giving out the “presents” to the tigers and lions; Katia wakes up in a van (that belonged to the dead guy), and doesn’t understand what they are doing, so starts giving away the “presents” to other animals, such as baboons and giraffes. Felix tells her to go away, and she leaves the Zoo.

After all the “presents” are gone, Josette and Felix go away in the van, and Therese and Pierre walk away back to SOS’s apartment; on their way back they find Katia, and after that they all run to catch the bus.


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