INTOUCHABLES (2011) Dir. Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano

They’re different, contrasting, even mutually exclusive. Yet, they’re drawn to each other like two magnets: Philippe and Driss.

Philippe (François Cluzet) finds Driss (Omar Sy) imbecile and ignorant. Driss does his best to talk Philippe out of hiring him and discourage him for good. Yet, against all odds, they hit it off from the start. Philippe’s sarcasm and Driss’ humorous disposition click. Not only do they become friends, but they learn from each other, as well. One needs the other in the same way.

When it comes to it, these two men are like two peas in a pot. Only their appearances differ. They both enjoy music, art, good cars, and women. Philippe, with his high-brow tastes, ushers Driss into the world of class and sophistication, introducing him to Vivaldi and Dali. At the same time, Driss shows him the flipside: opera is dead boring (after all, they sing in German, an ongoing practical joke) and a €40,000 painting comes across as a few ridiculous splashes. It works the other way round, too. Driss proves it’s not music when you can’t dance to it, and plays Earth Wind & Fire, which makes all people around to dance. And when they sell Driss’ impromptu “painting” for quite a decent sum of money, they both have a blast.

Philippe also learns he can enjoy life (which includes drinking, smoking pot, speeding in his sports car, and even being intimate with a woman). He doesn’t feel anything from the neck down. Physically, he’s dependent on other people. Just like Driss, constantly out of job and with his criminal record, is dependent on unemployment office. But they get to appreciate life. All they need is a friend to show them how to make the best of what you’ve got.

“Intouchables” is funny and witty. It touches you, but doesn’t move you to tears. Don’t expect to cry. You’ll be having too much fun!

Long days, pleasant nights,

Veronica Bazydlo

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