A French public servant from Provence is banished to the far North. Strongly prejudiced against this cold and inhospitable place, he leaves his family behind to relocate temporarily there, with the firm intent to quickly come back.
Romain Faubert is a 39 year old, single, medical photographer.. and a raging hypochondriac. His doctor and only friend Dr. Dimitri Zvenka, thinks he knows a cure for Romain: dating. But ... See full summary »
To amuse themselves at a weekly dinner, a few well-heeled folk each bring a dimwit along who is to talk about his pastime. Each member seeks to introduce a champion dumbbell. Pierre, an ... See full summary »
Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group.
Alexandre de La Patellière,
Overwhelmed by his wife, a Northern Italy postal worker feigns a disability to request a transfer to Milan and when he's unmasked is sent for two years to a far and tiny village near Naples... See full summary »
For travelers around the world, the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull is a downer. For Alain and Valerie, it's a catastrophe. For if they are to make it in time to the tiny... See full summary »
Three half-brothers are reunited at their mother's funeral. After being told of their inheritance they quickly spend the money, only to find out that they will not receive it after all. The... See full summary »
Although living a comfortable life in Salon-de-Provence, a charming town in the South of France, Julie has been feeling depressed for a while. To please her, Philippe Abrams, a post office administrator, her husband, tries to obtain a transfer to a seaside town, on the French Riviera, at any cost. The trouble is that he is caught red-handed while trying to scam an inspector. Philippe is immediately banished to the distant unheard of town of Bergues, in the Far North of France. Leaving his child and wife behind, the crucified man leaves for his frightening destination, a dreadfully cold place inhabited by hard-drinking, unemployed rednecks, speaking an incomprehensible dialect called Ch'ti. Philippe soon realizes that all these ideas were nothing but prejudices and that Bergues is not synonymous with hell... Written by
Of course it's not a deep film, but nor is it pretentious. It might also not please everyone - if you don't want to have a good laugh, or if your French is challenged, you could find it dull. But true laugh-out-loud comedies that feel genuine and refreshing (like this one) instead of grotesque and vulgar are few and far in between. Moreover, and even more rare, the whole audience - me included - seemed to be howling in laughter, not just three people making a lot of noise.
While the pun is largely based on the local "ch'ti" dialect, it is not limited to it and humour works throughout, well timed and mastered by the actors. The dialect itself was ably used, and the audience are introduced to it nicely. Boon is wonderful, both touching and funny, and Kad Merad delivers a nice performance. More than the dialect or the actors, the region itself and its people are beautifully pictured, and the spirit is well captured. Clichés are used for comedic purpose, and are dispelled instead of being woven. Amateurs will also find an incredible short appearance by Michel Galabru (my favourite part of the film). The film never aims to be realistic, and never seems pretentious, but the feel of Northern France is genuine.
In the end, it is a truly pleasing film: funny, true to itself, fresh and nicely French (but not the part you are most used to seeing) is what you should expect.
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