And here is the first foreign film to appear in the challenge: The Intouchables from France!
I decided to watch this movie because someone had told me it was a great family film. First part may be true, but second part is a big flat no, unless you are comfortable explaining to young kids (or your grandma) what a man’s “cucumber” is or what “nooky” is. Also, this film is rated R, so I’m not sure why that person said this was a family film…
Anyways, like the other films in the challenge thus far, The Intouchables is based on a true story. It follows the friendship that develops between Philippe (François Cluzet), a quadriplegic, and Driss (Omar Sy), his caretaker. The two of them occupy very different social strata – Philippe is in the upper echelon and lives in a luxurious mansion where he spends his days enjoying classical music and modern art. Driss, on the other hand, comes from a broken family and has a criminal record. Despite their differences, Philippe and Driss become an inseparable pair, and their friendship becomes a powerful source of joy and change in their lives.
It always fascinates me how many amazing films are actually based on true stories, for it shows me that reality can be just as intriguing and marvelous as the imagination. Argo, Spotlight, Finding Neverland, The King’s Speech – all of these were incredible films based on real events. With that being said, another film I would add to that list is The Intouchables. The Intouchables was amazing, and the fact that it is a true story makes it even more beautiful, for it’s inspiring to see two very different people form a strong, genuine friendship in the midst of a complicated world.
The humor in the movie was great as well. I didn’t like the raunchy jokes prevalent throughout the film, but the situations that arise due to the characters’ differences were hilarious, and at times endearing and totally relatable. For example, one of my favorite scenes in the movie (SPOILER ALERT) is when Philippe hosts a birthday party and invites an orchestra to perform classical music. Driss attends the party, but he doesn’t like, nor does he know much about, classical music, so when Philippe asks Driss to guess what works are being played, Driss gives answers like, “Oh this is what they play when you call the office and they say, ‘The lines are all busy. Enjoy some music. Wait time: two years.'” So relatable. After all, who hasn’t heard some famous work playing on the other end of the line for hours as we wait for an operator to pick up our call? (END SPOILER)
François Cluzet and Omar Sy also deliver great performances, and the music and cinematography were beautiful as well. The directors and writers really crafted a wonderful film filled with moments and characters that are heartwarming, meaningful, and authentic.
Overall, I really liked this movie, and I can see why it was such a hit when it came out in 2011, breaking box office records and receiving positive reviews from critics and moviegoers. If you’re looking for an uplifting, feel-good film, The Intouchables is the one for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Title: The Intouchables
Director: Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano
Writers: Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano
Cast: François Cluzet & Omar Sy
Run Time: 1 hr 53 min