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Having seen this film several times and enjoyed it, I would say it has
relevance if you have been on a linguistic holiday or met people that have
done just that. Filmed for the most part in Ramsgate, Kent, United Kingdom
with a mixture of young French and British actors / actresses, the film
deals with the trials and tribulations of young French kids going to the UK
for a linguistic holiday. Whereas "L'Auberge Espagnole" ( which dealt with
the same theme ) has mature adolescents as the main characters, this film is
about real kiddies and is much cuter than " Auberge ". Also it was made many
years previously so there are no lewd passages or bad language. This makes
it more of a pleasure to watch. The atmosphere of the UK at the time is well
rendered and many young French schoolchildren will be able to identify with
their compatriots in the film. It appears the film was VERY successful in
France in 1976 when it came out.
The title of the film is rather misleading, as our young friends have little success chatting up English girls and end up with other French girls ! But the original intention was to chat up the young Brits ( and thereby to presumably improve their standard of spoken English ).
As often happens during these kind of linguistic holidays, the kids tend to regroup with others from their own country, thereby reducing the need to speak a foreign language ! That of course is contrary to the aim of such a holiday but it is a hard fact !! The music used, notably that of Mort(imer) Schuman is very good and a whold generation of young French people know the film and remember it through this music.
As an Englishman living in France, I find all that rather amusing and making for good light entertainment. I haven't the foggiest idea whether the film is known in the UK but, as someone knowing what makes the British laugh, I would not see it as having much success on that side of the Channel ! Though it may bring back pleasant ( or perhaps less pleasant ) memories for British families who have welcomed foreign kids for summer courses. I have seen very few comments on imdb for the film so presume it is not too well known outside France !
I have been on language courses in England twice, and was amazed to see
such a lot of parallels to the movie - the pupils meet more other
pupils from back home and learn more English at parties or on the
One thing is missing: everything is described from the view of the pupils, but for the teachers such a course also is an adventure! What about my personal experience: a pupil mugged, another one caught shoplifting, an 18-year-old girl goes away for a dirty weekend (at the same time a sexual predator is around in town) - and all this in three weeks!
It could have been fascinating to write a sequel for this movie - from the teachers' point of view!
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