"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Sunday, April 28, 2013


The Intouchables (Nakache & Toledano, 2011)
Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin all performed death-defying, rib-tickling gags that could have ended in a wheelchair, but I don't remember any that started in one. And no fair counting the movies featuring someone pushing a wheelchair, accidentally letting go, and then chasing after it.  

Ha ha, funny as a crutch.

The Intouchables isn't a slapstick comedy, of course. It's not really a comedy at all despite moments of genuine, laugh-out-loud hilarity. It's based on a true story of a wealthy, wheelchair-bound aristocrat and his kindhearted but rough-around-the-edges attendant. 

Philippe (Fran├žois Cluzet) likes art and classical music; a paragliding accident left him paralyzed. Cluzet reminds me of a Gallic Dustin Hoffman, depending on the camera angle. Driss (Omar Sy) has zero interest in administering sponge baths and feeding Philippe. He's a low-level thug with street smarts and an extended family.  He applies for the job expecting to be turned down in order to collect unemployment.  An unlikely friendship ensues.  

Predictable?  You bet. It's no spoiler that Philippe and Driss teach each other valuable lessons.  That's the kind of movie this is, you know that going in. But I laughed out loud and I enjoyed the performances very much and only a total asshole would knock this movie.

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