No, not a remake of “The Untouchables”, but a French film of a very different nature. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…what’s wrong with Ken? I just thought I’d go off the summer blockbuster path to bring you one of the biggest hit films in
First, you have to be able to bear subtitles, because that’s what you get here. So you can’t shut your eyes much to take it all in. It is kind of different take on an old storyline designed to draw laughter and tears – two people from very different lives meet up and change each other.
Philippe is the wealthy French “1 per center” - a white guy, paralyzed from the neck down after a paragliding accident some years back. He’s also a sad and lonely widower. Driss, an immigrant to
You can guess what happens – he gets the job! But the fun is in the presentation. Driss is crass and bold. He gives Philippe just the impression he’s really looking for, a guy who doesn’t give a crap, who has a lively disrespectful sense of humor, and doesn’t pity the guy in the wheelchair. That is a cliché too – but it’s hard to write these reviews and do more than tell you that it comes off much better than that. I won’t redo the dialogue here, but some people just have good chemistry and Philippe takes a liking to the irreverent Driss, despite the guy’s criminal record.
You might argue he took pity on Driss, but it is clear Philippe wants a change of direction in his care. Turns out he also needs a new outlook on curing his loneliness. He’s in an “epistolary” relationship with a woman (yeah, go look that one up) and Driss is just the guy to get him to take it to the next level. Meanwhile, Driss needs to learn a thing or two about responsibility and follow through.
I have given you all the movie’s life lessons, but what works best is the back and forth between these two guys and some of the other minions who work for Philippe. Driss flirts openly with one female assistant and it comes full circle on him. He was just what was needed to shake up this drab rich household. What does not work as well are the kids, as usual. Driss has a younger brother who is constantly in trouble and Philippe’s daughter is a spoiled brat. It fills out the movie, but there was nothing entertaining or remarkable there.
I can see why they have gone crazy for “The Intouchables” in France – it won’t be the case in this country, but it’s a nice throwback with good writing and casting. I can see Dustin Hoffman playing Philippe when we get the American version. I give it an “8”.