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Welcome to the Sticks (2008)

Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 27 February 2008 (France)
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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.

Director:

Dany Boon

Writers:

Dany Boon, Alexandre Charlot (dialogue) | 3 more credits »
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5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kad Merad ... Philippe Abrams
Dany Boon ... Antoine Bailleul
Zoé Félix ... Julie Abrams
Lorenzo Ausilia-Foret Lorenzo Ausilia-Foret ... Raphaël Abrams
Anne Marivin ... Annabelle Deconninck
Philippe Duquesne Philippe Duquesne ... Fabrice Canoli
Guy Lecluyse Guy Lecluyse ... Yann Vandernoout
Line Renaud ... La maman d'Antoine
Michel Galabru ... Le grand oncle de Julie
Stéphane Freiss ... Jean Sabrier
Patrick Bosso Patrick Bosso ... Le gendarme A7
Jérôme Commandeur Jérôme Commandeur ... L'inspecteur Lebic
Alexandre Carrière Alexandre Carrière ... Tony - l'amoureux d'Isabelle
Fred Personne Fred Personne ... M. Vasseur
Franck Andrieux Franck Andrieux ... M. Leborgne
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Storyline

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 Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Über 20 Millionen Franzosen können nicht irren! [German release]

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

27 February 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Willkommen bei den Sch'tis See more »

Filming Locations:

Autoroute A7, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€20,873,413 (France), 2 March 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$1,477,650

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$246,622,067
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Instead of using well known dialects for the German dubbed version, the dubbing studio created a completely new fictional dialect with as much similarity to the original French ch'ti dialect as possible. See more »

Crazy Credits

after the movie, while the closing credits scroll over the screen, some outtakes are shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bis (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Le p'tit Quinquin
Written by Alexandre Desrousseaux
Sung by Jenny Clève (1853)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A delightfully infectious comedy!
2 March 2009 | by moviesleuth2See all my reviews

Fish-out-of-water stories have almost unlimited potential. There's no limit to the quirks you can give to the inhabitants of the place where the hero winds up. "Welcome to the Sticks" is one of those movies, and the odd inhabitants of the Bergues (specifically the post office workers), make for a charming and unexpected comedy.

Phillippe Abrams (Kal Merad) is a post office manager, and his job requires him to move every few years. He really wants to move south, where it is warmer, but after a failed attempt to cheat his way there, he is shipped up north instead--not a good thing because of its hellish reputation. When he gets there though, he realizes that not everything is what he thought it would be.

Kal Merad is terrific as Phillippe. He's a good man who is open to new ideas, once he realizes what they are. However, he's no Jim Carrey; his attempts at pratfalls and neuroses fall flat. Fortuantely, though, that's not all he's required to do. He's easily likable because he acts in a way anyone else would. Dany Bloom, despite wearing three hats (actor, co-writer, and director) makes Antoine a lovable character. He's frequently funny, and always sympathetic right from the get-go. When he's troubled, we feel sad. When he's being funny, we always laugh. Anne Marivin is adorable as Antoine's love interest, and Zoe Felix is always believable as Phillippe's cynical wife who won't believe her husband.

The main problem is that for the first forty minutes, "Welcome to the Sticks" is flat. There are laughs to be sure, but I laughed because I knew I was supposed to laugh, not because what just happened was especially funny. After that, though, the film finds its groove and brings about a lot of laughs, including two flat-out hilarious sequences. Of course, one has to accept a huge plot device to get some of the humor, but that's not hard because the film's earnest and likable tone makes you want to go along with the flow.

The film's major asset is it's charm, and that makes it easier to swallow everything that happens in it. Special credit has to go to Dany Boon for accomplishing this and keeping it consistent throughout the film.

However flat the first part of the movie might be, the better part of the movie is good enough to warrant a viewing.


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