The characters impersonate the superficiality of modern city living, fast becoming what appears to be friends, while at the same time having no qualms leaving one of them behind, attempt to murder each other, or even falsely pointing one of them to a contract killer. Despite that unusual relationship, the bond they form is of the "us vs them" variety, a Sartrian "Hell, it's the others" view of the world, where everybody else is a suspect, and a threat. I could write for pages about the critic of high rise living, about the release date, 1979, being at the door of the 80s, the materialism decade, but it is so obvious, so prevalent in the movie that there is no need to. Maybe this is the real story.
Bertrand Blier is one of my most cherished French director, one of the most, if not the most accomplished, and yet he is barely known outside of France. Buffet Froid may not be the best introductory movie ("Les Valseuses" is more of an out and out comedy), but in his filmography it is the beginning of his more involved work, deeper and darker, approaching difficult subjects with a surprisingly light touch. Without "Buffet Froid" there wouldn't be "Tenue de soirée" or "Too beautiful for you". I am surprised he is not known more, especially in the UK. His very particular brand of absurd comedy has a Pythonesque quality to it. You owe it to yourself to discover Betrand Blier. You'll thank me for it!