Franglish's favourite feel good French films!

A typical French film. Probably philosophical, sometimes overly sexual, and in most cases, involves deep discussions over a dinner table. The subtle, serious style of French cinema is often an acquired taste. But sometimes, universally pleasing, light hearted films take the country, or world by storm. So here is Franglish's list of our favourite feel good French films!

We've deliberately chosen more recent films, particularly as many old French classic comedies can be pretty hard to understand for non natives! Not as if you need a reminder, but always watch the original version of the French film, with English, French or no subtitles, depending on what you feel most confident with!

Remember, english voice-overs are a language learner's sin...

P.S We've missed out Amélie, because we know you've seen it already.

 

1) Intouchables, 2012

Being the most viewed French film outside of France ever, with up to 54 million cinema tickets sold around the globe, if one French film took the world by storm, it was this one. Based on a true story, the film shows the heartwarming relationship between a Parisian aristocratic quadraplegic Phillippe and his new carer Driss, an ex covict of Senegalese origin from the city's housing projects. Their unlikely friendship, played by François Cluzet and Omar Sy respectively, touches upon the racial, cultural and social mores of modern day multicultural France with a refreshing, comical approach. 

 

 

2) Le Dîner de Cons, 1998

Pierre, a snobby Parisian organises a weekly dinner with friends, each bringing the biggest 'idiot' they can find as entertainment. One day meets the hilariously clumsy François Pignon, who he believes would make the 'best idiot' to accompany him. Their meeting brings a whirlwind of unexpected catastrophies into Pierre's life, and eventually , karma gets Pierre back for his arrogant behaviour. A hilarious French comedy that cannot be missed !

 

 

3) L'Auberge Espagnole, 2002

French student Xavier, embarks on his Erasmus adventure to Barcelona. To his surprise, he learns a lot more than the Spanish language ! Language struggles, cultural shock, integrating with people from all over the world, several amourous encounters and making the most of carefree student life makes him realise how unique of an experience a year abroad is. If you've done an Erasmus year abroad, this film will no doubt get you reminiscing on 'the best year' of your uni life !

 

 

4) Neuilly Sa Mère, 2009

This film isn't the biggest box office success, but we love it anyway. Cheesy, exagerated and unrealistic, but hilarious nevertheless! Sami, a young Algerian teen from the projects, is forced to move to live with his aunt and her bourgeoise family in Neuilly-sur-Seine, the crème de la crème of the wealthy Parisian suburbs. Starting life afresh in the family's impressive mansion and prestigious private school is a shock to the system. Being stuck with his cousin Charles, who is full of racial prejudices and idolises right wing French presidents does not help either. Sami finds himself  falling in love with Marie, his new neighbour. However, he has to prove to her that he's not a little hoodlum from the banlieue like everyone thinks he is ! French comedy tends to mock social and racial stereotypes with humour, so as foreign viewers, we get an idea of some modern social issues of French society in a lighthearted way!

 


 

5) L'Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker), 2010

It's not often that a romantic comedy wins the award for best film for the most prestigious French film awards, les Césars. So when it does, it must be that good ! Alex, played by French heart-throb Romain Duris is a professional seducer, hired to break up relationships. He gets hired by a wealthy man to break up his daughter Juliette, played by the gorgeous Vanessa Paradis, and her British fiancé. Immediately lovestruck by the beauty, Alex' mission to break the couple apart proves to be a huge challenge, all the more so since he has ten days to do so before their marriage. Seduction, spying and secret love, this film provides great entertainment! 

 

 

6) Les Triplettes de Belleville (Belleville Rendezvous) , 2003

This masterpiece of French animation cinerma, with its surrealist animated style and award winning music is loved by all. An elderly lady is on a mission to rescue her grandson Champion, a Tour de France cyclist from the mysterious mafia. Bringing along with her three elderly jazz singers of the Thirties and her overweight dog , they embark on an adventure to find Champion, kidnapped and held in the bustling Parisian quarter of Belleville.

 

 

7) Les Emotifs Anonymes (Romantics Anonymous), 2010

We love French romantic films for their subtle finesse and unpredictable surprises, unlike many of their American counterparts. This film is delightful, romantic comedy about Angélique and Jean-René, two pathalogically shy people who both share the same passion for chocolate. Naturally, they fall in love. Unfortunately, expressing emotion doesn't come naturally to neither of them, even though they know they're meant to be. Together, they battle their extreme shyness and open up to eachother, little by little.  Snuggle up with a box of chocolates to this delectable delight of a film !


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