Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Intouchables (R/112 Min.)

I enjoyed yet another free pre-screening thanks to the wonderful people at GOFOBO. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this movie. I hadn’t seen any of the trailers and had only read the little blurb about it on the afore-mentioned website. To say I enjoyed it doesn’t quite cut the mustard. The time just flew by!

The Intouchables is the true story of Philippe, a very wealthy quadriplegic who is looking for a companion; someone to take care of and spend time with him. All Driss wants is someone to sign his paperwork showing that he came to an interview and was turned down so that he can receive unemployment and return to life in the projects. As you can probably guess, if that’s all that happened this would be a very short, very boring movie and it probably wouldn’t have been produced in the first place.

Philippe didn’t want to be pitied and Driss didn’t know how to. Both actors were wonderful at getting this point across. It also helped that that was mentioned but there you go. I was drawn to both characters and felt their pain and happiness. I also happen to be a sympathy breather (does that even make sense???) and had a rough time of it during the wheezing scenes. I was so completely drawn in to this movie. I love it when that happens. Also, the summary leads you to believe that this is going to be more of a drama than anything. It really wasn’t. I can’t believe how much I laughed. Just to be clear, I was meant to. Some of the humor is so irreverent and I believe anyone not in on their jokes would have been completely shocked at some of the things said. I will watch this again just to see the opera scene.

The supporting cast did just as well as the stars. Yvonne, whose role in the household I’m not quite sure of – I guess she would be the key master in a show like Downton Abbey (not Ghostbusters as some of you might be thinking) – but seems to be in charge of everything, was my favorite. She is loyal and careful of her employer but, despite finding some very scary things in Driss’s bag, seemed to quickly warm up to and accept Driss. I loved how we saw that those feelings were reciprocated. Magalie, secretary to Philippe, was the object of Driss’s affection/lust and she gave him what he deserved. So funny. While the other actors also did a good job of it I’m going to skip on because they just didn’t have as big a role. The only character I felt lacked anything was Philippe’s daughter. She never did quite fit in to the story. They just stuck her in here and there so we didn’t completely forget about her. She either needed more scenes or to be taken out altogether but I’m sure the real daughter wouldn’t appreciate the latter.

I seem to be having trouble coming up with things to say tonight without giving too much away. So! Let’s head on to the break-down.

Sex/Nudity – No nudity. Driss was without a shirt at one point. He was also in a couple of bathing scenes but all you could see were his knees and from the shoulders up. Sex was discussed a few times and there weren’t any of what we would consider sex scenes. There wasn’t anything kinky, I assure you. I just have no way of explaining without spoiling it for you. It was funny. Trust me on this.

Cussing – Yes. And quite a bit. Several of the big ones.

Drinking/Drugs – While there is drinking there wasn’t drunkenness. The only drug shown was the Imodium that the daughter tried to kill herself with. She survived. Oh wow! I completely forgot the pot which is surprising considering the number of joints shown in this film.

Violence – None. The worst that we saw was Driss’s brother showing up a little worse for wear from getting beat up but nothing gross.

While this is not as intense as Scent of a Woman (hoo-ah!!!), I would still recommend The Intouchables to anyone who liked that. That being said I must warn you now that THIS.IS.A.FOREIGN.FILM!!! French, to be exact. With subtitles and everything. Having watched my fair share of foreign films with Spike (to the tune of Japanese horror flicks) the knowledge that I don’t speak the language didn’t really bother me. The subtitles were easy to read and didn’t seem to detract from the movie at all. Everyone enjoyed it and as long as you can read at a medium pace you’ll be good to go.

I’ve decided that if this were ever Americanized, which it really shouldn’t be, Dustin Hoffman needs to play Philippe and Jamie Foxx should play Driss. When this comes to fruition I’ll be expecting my cut of the profits…or top billing…whatever.

P.S. I didn't stay through the credits as this didn't seem like the kind of movie that would have anything after. If anyone does and there is please let me know so I can spread the word.

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