Click here if you missed part 1!

#6 - Le Père Noël est une ordure (Jean-Marie Poiré, 1982)

Pierre is a snobby volunteer at a telephone helpline for people suffering from depression. Him and his naïve co-worker Thérèse are stuck in the office on Christmas Eve. The building's lift is malfunctioning, and they receive visits from many unwanted callers. Just like in Le Dîner de Con (check out last week’s article if you missed it), there is genius rhythm, repartee and wordplay in the movie script, which was also based on a play. In this scene, Pierre and Thérèse exchange Christmas gifts - maybe this will give you ideas on how to react next time you receive something you didn’t really want?



#7 - Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Dany Boon, 2008)
Borrow the DVD from the library or watch on Kanopy

This comedy was one the highest grossing films of all time in France until it was surpassed by Intouchables in 2011. The plot follows Philippe, a man dreaming of a job on the Côte d’Azur, as he is in fact transferred to Northern France instead (Nord-Pas-de-Calais). The region is widely known for its cold and rainy weather, and its “unsophisticated” ch'ti population… The film makes liberal fun of the local accent but also shows that appearances aren’t everything. Heartwarming and funny all at once!

 

#8 - Les Visiteurs (Jean-Marie Poiré, 1993)
Borrow the DVD from the library or watch on Kanopy

In this comedy, a 12th-century knight and his squire travel in time to the end of the 20th century and find themselves adrift in modern society. The cast is golden: Jean Reno, Vélerie Lemercier and Christian Clavier make for a highly unusual but entertaining trio. Special mention must go out to Valérie Lemercier and her “grand bourgeois” accent, which you can get an overview of in this scene.



#9 - Les Tontons flingueurs (Georges Lautner, 1963) 

This cult film is a French classic, with snatches of dialogue and names of characters becoming part of popular culture. One of the most famous scenes is set in the kitchen where the gangsters try to make conversation while drinking a vile and extremely strong liquor.



#10 - Le coeur a ses raisons (Marc Brunet, 2005) 

For this last one, I suggest you check out this Canadian TV parody of soap operas like “Les Feux de l’Amour” (The Young and the Restless). It stars Marc Labrèche and Anne Dorval, who went on to star in many of Xavier Dolan’s films.  This scene will be highly relatable to anyone having ever tried to make up words to win at Scrabble!



A dual citizen of France and the USA, Sonia grew up between the Midwest and Brittany. After obtaining her BA in Philosophy and Modern Languages at Oxford University in 2015, she spent several years in Paris, working in classical music and studying voice & opera at the Conservatoire. She moved to Boston in the fall of 2020, where she now performs as a singer. Sonia is thrilled to also be a part of the French Library’s team, where she can put her deep love of French literature to use while working as Librarian.

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