We shouldn’t be surprised, really. The whole point of C’était un Rendez-Vous - the 1976 short film depicting an early-morning blast through Paris - was the illicit thrill of the thing, which can’t be responsibly replicated. Its follow-up, Le Grand Rendez-Vous, was destined to struggle when it came to emulating the original, taking place on officially closed roads in Monaco with a brand new car and an F1 driver supplied by Ferrari.
The purpose of the Ferrari-backed ‘Le Grand Rendez-Vous’ isn’t the same as its predecessor - it has more of a promo film feel. But it could have done with retaining the simplicity of C’était un Rendez-Vous, which used a single 35mm mounted to a Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 (the dubbed soundtrack apparently coming from director Claude Lelouch’s own Ferrari 275GTB) and had a very straightforward story - a guy charging across town to make it on time for his Rendez-Vous.
The sequel, again directed by Claude Lelouch, was filmed over several hours with multiple camera angles used. There are also some awkward shots of driver Charles LeClerc being applauded by staff from the Hotel de Paris plus Prince Albert II of Monaco. The F1 driver is then - for some reason - given two bunches of flowers.
We also don’t hear a whole lot of the SF90, even when the music is - all to briefly - dropped back entirely. Granted, a twin-turbo V8 isn’t going to offer up the most soul-stirring soundtrack (an 812 Superfast would have been more appropriate, but y’know, marketing), but the engine noise is frustrating low in the mix throughout.
But still, it’s worth a few minutes of your time. When the music does drop away you can appreciate some handy driving from Leclerc, and with this year’s Monaco Grand Prix cancelled due to Covid-19, it’s nice to see a powerful car charging around the streets of Monte Carlo. We were just hoping for a little more.