Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77% (Critics) / 91% (Audience)
Directed By: Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
Written By: Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
Starring: François Cluzet, Omar Sy and Anne Le Ny
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Synopsis: An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility, The Intouchables has broken box office records in its native France and across Europe. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicap millionaire (Francois Cluzet) and his street smart ex-con caretaker (Omar Sy), The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common.
The chemistry between François Cluzet and Omar Sy is the backbone of this film. Sy has an easy charm that makes his rough around the edges Driss easily relatable. Cluzet has a much harder job playing the tetraplegic Phillippe and having to convey so much through just his facial expressions. When these two men are onscreen together The Intouchables shines.
The movie has a tendency to be a bit episodic in parts. Also the relationship between Phillippe and his daughter was given short shrift which is a shame because delving into how a 15 year old girl being raised by an infirmed single dad and the brash man assigned to take care of him would seem to be rife with storyline possibilities.
As much as I enjoyed this movie there was a nagging in the back of my mind at the thought of the Magical Negro phenomena crossing the Atlantic to European cinema.
Final Verdict: A well acted, well-written and unassumingly directed treat of a film that rises above its clichéd and gooey center to be a very enjoyable bit of moviemaking. It is all very American for a French film and I can see it being re-made in Hollywood quite easily.B+