The Intouchables 3½/4 A movie review by James Berdinelli

October 19, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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At the beginning of The Intouchables, a caption informs us that this is “based on a true story.”

The Intouchables is a very good film – uplifting, funny, heartwarming, etc. – but its strengths are unrelated to the degree (or lack thereof) of factual veracity. So cease worrying about where the narrative diverges from the record. Don’t lose sleep over the racial makeover applied to one of the characters. Enjoy this movie for what it is – the kind of motion picture that can cause Champaign-like giddiness – and don’t obsess over how true-to-life this work of fiction is.

The screenplay, credited to co-directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toldeano, cleverly uses the structure of a romantic comedy to frame the (platonic) friendship between two very different men. There’s not even a whiff of sexual tension between the leads, yet their interaction is defined by feelings of love and amity. It’s love without romance between two heterosexual guys who bond with a depth one rarely finds outside a movie theater. This is a buddy movie where the friendship doesn’t play second fiddle to overblown action or raunchy comedy. From start to finish, The Intouchables is about the development of an unlikely relationship between two very different individuals. For what it is, it’s hard to find something better.

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