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First, action adventures involving cops were huge in the 80s in both television and movies.In fact Tom Selleck (Peter) was in Magnum PI (1980-1988) and Steve Guttenberg was in all of those Police Academy movies before this movie. The music is much happier and as most people would say very "eighties." Family comedies were also popular in the 80s, and that's what this movie seems to have evolved into.Also the lifestyle of the men is more accurate despite their ages.One point of the movie is that the men are supposed to learn from the child and reform their lives.The mother leaves the child in the care of the father without checking if the father is in town or even residing at his address. In an idealistic world the father would automatically assume responsibility like Jack did. Jacques/Jack is a bachelor who doesn't want a relationship let alone children. It makes complete sense that he'd try and pawn the responsibility onto someone else as he does in the French movie.
In the French film, Michel goes to the gardens and puts the diper in the bin and then the dealer picks up the diper which contains the drugs and leaves.
It is my impression that this image would appear weird to large parts of an American audience and was thus removed. The French version is much darker and the music is less dated.
When the American version started I thought, "The French students are going to wonder why Americans wear shoulder pads and have gigantic hair." I agree with David that American audiances are generally more prudish than European audiences.
It does not surprise me in the least that the American remake had more police involvement and action. I'm pretty Nemoy wondered how he could turn a sitcom into a movie.
The most obvious difference is that the American film is more idealistic than the French version. The men seemed to have less of an idea about how to take care of children unless Dansen, Selleck, and Guttenberg were bad actors.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that being a pilot is considered a very respectable, upstanding career, not one that's really connected with drugs.