Is this what you called French Buddies?
Nominated for Best Foreign Film at Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards, The Intouchables movie is based on a true story about two complete strangers who meet under normal circumstance and changed each other’s lives. Philippe is a French billionaire who suffers from full body paralysis after an accident and he is in need of a caretaker. Enter Driss, an up to no good young man who applied for the position intending to benefit from welfare checks. Once hired, the two men quickly become friends who help each other to find their path in life.
What strikes me the most while watching The Intouchables is the simple script written by Nakache and Toledano. The script is direct, while the characters are realistic. The script revolves around two characters who come from different social backgrounds and if this is a Hollywood movie, by the end of the film, those two will somehow “changed” their personality to match with each other’s social strata (the billionaire will get humble and the caretaker will be more sophisticated), but thankfully those case didn’t happen. Yes, the two characters intertwined with each other’s lives and of course they got “influenced” by other’s liking, but they are still the same people behind the new friendship. Philippe still likes expensive art and classic music, where else Driss is still an outspoken dude who loves Kool and Gang.
The unlikely friendship between a billionaire and a simple man as a movie’s plot demands a drama and twist in the ending to many of us. But instead, directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano focuses more on the movie’s comedy aspect. Yes, I am rather dumbfounded as you are: The Intouchables is high on comedy than its drama dosage. The movie doesn’t follow the usual cliché of ‘simple man can’t adopt rich lifestyle’ story line, where else it turns its attention on its characters’ comical timing. Despite the two men’s social status, both of them share a good sense of humor. Throughout the movie, we will see Driss constantly mocking Philippe’s disability and the two will ended up in tears of laughter. Why? because Philippe doesn’t need pity, he needs a friend and he found one in Driss. This in my opinion is an efficient way of directing, of course the directors can insert some dramatic scenes but what’s the point? If you can make a movie without exaggerated dramatic scenes, then by all means do it.
Omar Sy and François Cluzet both shines in their respective roles as Philippe and Driss. Although, I like Omar Sy a bit better because he does know his comical timing and he used it well.
The Intouchables is a light-hearted French movie for those who need some fresh comedy.
PS: The movie also have great soundtracks. Here is one of them: September by Earth, Wind & Fire!