A seriously handicaped rich man (François Cluzet) seeks for an aidant, but the task is very hard and even if it is well paid the number of people who occupied the position is huge. This goes on until he meets a young black man (Omar Sy) from a poor milieu with a great heart and a lot of pragmatism.
This comedy had every ingredient to fall into the easy path of melodramas and the victimization of wheelchair handicaped people. However, the angle of approach of the two directors (Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano) brought an encounter of two improbable person becoming best buds. It is the overused concept of the Odd Couple, where two very different kind of characters get along in a way that only buddy flicks can, that can be one of the most obvious elements of the plot. Mostly because of the many times the same story has been done over and over again, I was expecting something very convetional and obvious. And even if the story is inspired by true events and characters, we feel that the plot hasn’t been that much romanced.
Both leading men, Cluzet and Sy have a great chemistry and they both have their moments to shine and their ups and downs. It is interesting to observe how each brings something to the other while not being displayed like conventionnal wallpaper on the wall. It is the subtle touches and the very well and unforced writing of the plot that brings this film together plus the aforementioned great performances of the two leads. It is also important to mention that the illness of the rich man is never taken as an issue of victimization or of overly dramatization.
Back in early 2012, I remember seing the preview of Intouchables just before a showing of The Artist and I thought to myself not another film where they try to make laugh and cry everyone with saccharine effects and artifical emotions. Well, it is indeed a film that makes you laugh and cry but with real emotions and not in a despicable way that most of the dramas of today are made. It is also interesting to see how a story that has been done a nth times can be reinterpretated in a fresher way with good taste. Without reinventing the style either this is the kind of film that I would recommend to anyone without any hesitation. Sure it is a feelgood movie and it makes you feel warm inside, but it is nice and enjoyable.