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Overcoming handicaps

OUT NOW! INTOUCHABLES manages to be genuinely funny in spite of its clichéd premise.

Based on a true story, Intouchables depicts the friendship between a quadriplegic millionaire (Cluzet) and his black, streetwise caregiver (Sy). Their relationship allows each to overcome their respective handicaps through a healthy therapy of class, race and disability jokes. Though heavily reliant on genre clichés, the script is funny throughout, and both leads deliver delightful performances. From a socio-critical perspective, the portraits are too superficial to do more than graze the very real inequality problems they capitalise on. Still, seen purely as a comedy, Intouchables is a thoroughly enjoyable film.

Intouchables (Ziemlich beste Freunde) | Directed by Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano (France 2011) with François Cluzet, Omar Sy. Starts January 5