After the 5 French dramatic movies I advised you to watch, it’s time to laugh!

The Intouchables in English is a 2011 comedy-drama film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. It stars François Cluzet and Omar Sy. Nine weeks after its release in France on 2 November 2011, it became the second biggest box office hit in France, just behind the 2008 film “Bienvenue chez les chti’s.

The story of the friendship between the two men is then told as a flashback, Philippe, a rich quadriplegic who owns a luxurious mansion, and his assistant Magalie, are interviewing candidates to be his live-in caregiver. Driss, a candidate, has no ambitions to get hired. He is just there to get a signature showing he was interviewed and rejected in order to continue receiving his welfare benefits. He is told to come back the next morning to get his signed letter.

When this movie was released, it was crazy in France, every single person was speaking about this movie, and how it is awesome. It took me time before I decided to watch it. In general I am not a big fan of commercial movies. The first time I was expecting to laugh a lot, but I didn’t. Then I watched it a 2nd time 2 years later and I loved it. Sometimes you need to see several times a movie before you like it.

Bienvenue chez les chti’s

Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, in English: Welcome to the Sticks or Welcome to the Land of Shtis is a 2008 French comedy film directed, co-written by and starring Dany Boon.

Philippe Abrams is the manager of the postal service in southern France. He is married to Julie, whose depressive character makes his life miserable. Philippe does everything to get a job at an office on the Mediterranean seaside to make her happy. As this favourable position will be granted to somebody who is disabled, Abrams decides to pretend that he is. However, the management finds out. As punishment, he is banished for two years to Bergues, in northern France. Northern France – and the Nord Pas de Calais region in particular – is considered “the sticks” – a cold and rainy place inhabited by unsophisticated ch'tis who speak a strange language (called " Ch’ti" in local parlance, and "cheutimi" in the South).

This movie is really funny because it speaks about all the clichés that French people have about the North of France. As you may know in France the stereotypes are not the same if you are a Parisian, a Breton, or a southern. As a Parisian you are seen like arrogant and unfriendly; as a Breton, a farmer and an alcoholic. If you come from the south people can say that they are liars and it’s difficult to make friends there.

 

Le prénom

 

What's in a Name? (original title: Le Prénom, literally "The Given Name") is a French-Belgian comedy film, released in 2012, written and directed by Alexandre de la Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte.It is adapted from the play Le Prénom by the same authors.

The plot:

Vincent, a real estate agent and father-to-be is invited for dinner by his sister Elisabeth and his brother-in-law Pierre. When Vincent reveals he intends to have his son being baptised as "Adolphe" his hosts object to that. The situation eventually gets out of hand.

I was in United Kingdom when a Czech friend asked me if I had watched “Le prénom”. My answer was no. I was ashamed because he was not even French! He told me that it was one of his favorite comedies and after I watched it, I can understand why. Even if you can think that it’s a little bit too long there are many jokes which are funny.

Oss 117: Le Caire, Nid d’espions

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117 : Le Caire, nid d'espions, 2006) is a French comedy film directed by Michel Hazanavicius. It is a parody of the spy film genre. The film follows the exploits of a French secret agent, OSS 117, in Cairo in 1955.

The main plot starts with the disappearances of an OSS agent, Jack Jefferson, and a Soviet cargo ship in Cairo. Agent OSS 117 is sent to investigate the events, since he and agent Jefferson share a history, shown in a short opening sequence and in flashbacks throughout the film. OSS 117 stumbles into a web of international intrigue, that involves the French, the Soviets, the British, separate factions of Egyptians, a goofy Belgian spy and even a splinter group of the Nazis from the beginning. Throughout the film the main character has two main romantic interests. The first is an Egyptian princess Al Tarouk, who can't resist the charms of OSS 117. The second is the former assistant of Jack Jefferson, Larmina El Akmar Betouche,(Bérénice Béjo is the actress) who at first shows no interest in the main character - and in fact temporarily becomes a secondary villain due to OSS 117's continued crass statements about her religion - but warms up to him in the end.

Some quotes from the film are really famous like “ J’aime me beurrer la biscotte”. A second OSS was released, “Rio ne répond plus”. They may do a 3rd OSS 177 because both of Dujardin and Hazanavicius want it.

Le diner de cons

 

Le Dîner de Cons, in English “Dinner of Fools”, also known as The Dinner Game in the United States of America, is a 1998 French comedy film written and directed by Francis Veber.

Pierre Brochant, a Parisian publisher, attends a weekly "idiots' dinner", where guests, who are modish, prominent Parisian businessmen, must bring along an "idiot" who the other guests can ridicule. At the end of the dinner, the evening's "champion idiot" is selected. With the help of an "idiot scout", Brochant manages to find a "gem", François Pignon, a sprightly employee of the Finance ministry that has a passion for building replicas of landmarks with matchsticks.

If you spent your childhood in France, you certainly watched it. It’s an inescapable movie. Almost every person knows it in France, so if you want to know our comedy movie culture it’s great. Also you can watch Louis de Funès movies ( la Grande Vadrouille, Le gendarme à St Tropez…

One more! Les visiteurs

Les Visiteurs in English: The Visitors is a French fantasy comedy film directed by Jean Marie Poiré and released in 1993. In this comedy, a 12th-century knight and his servant travel in time to the end of the 20th century and find themselves adrift in modern society. Les Visiteurs was the Number 1 box office film in France in 1993.

A medieval nobleman and his squire are accidentally transported to contemporary times by a senile sorcerer. He enlists the aid of his descendent to try to find a way to return home, all the while trying to cope with the cultural and technological changes distinguishing his time from ours. This movie is totally crazy, Jacouille (one of the character) is very famous for his quotes in the movie!

Now, watch those movies with your family and friends and have fun!

BÉRÉNICE KERMOAL

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