- Directors: Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
- Based on novel: No
- Cast: Francois Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ney, Audrey Fleurot
- Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
- Francois Cluzet – Olivier Olivier, Chocolat (not the Johnny Depp one), Round Midnight
- Anne Le Ney – Somewhere but I can’t find where
- Why? Recommended by friends MM and KJG
- Seen: September 21, 2014
The film comes highly recommended and that is always a disadvantage to the film in question. This one is no exception. I expected a French My Left Foot. It isn’t.
It’s a nice film (not a very flattering adjective, but accurate) and it does offer interesting insight into the class and ethnic differences in Paris. Driss, a black kid from the suburban high-rise concrete jungle, just out of prison, ends up working for Philippe, a filthy rich bourgeois art-loving quadriplegic though he has absolutely no qualifications or experience. Philippe just likes his cheeky vulgarity.
It’s all predictable. It all goes well and it’s fun to watch it going well. Driss jokes constantly and crudely – and it must be said, a bit tediously - about sex. He hustles every female in sight except Philippe’s daughter. Philippe falls for a pen friend from Dunkerque but is afraid to meet her. Driss brings life back to Philippe with all kinds of escapades.
Clichés abound. Driss laughs at classical music then jives to Earth, Wind and Fire on the ballroom floor. He scoffs at paying 14,000 Euros for an abstract painting then does one of his own that Philippe sells for 11,000. My environmentally aware soul protests against Philippe treating Driss to a private jet ride. And generally, it’s in French to be sure but there is just too much Hollywood feel-good to be completely enjoyable.
Bur Driss’s dancing is great and it’s fun that he recognises classical bits as adverts and the telephone muzak for the job centre. And everyone is likeable.
2 ½ * of 5