movrev: MON MEILLEUR AMI (My Best Friend)

4 stars: the best non-martial arts sub-titled movie I’ve seen

Hey, I’m just being honest! Most of the subtitled movies I see (Fearless, Hero, Crouching Tiger, District B13) are martial arts movies. And my son will even see them with me.

My wife won tickets to see a movie called My Best Friend. She wins a lot of contests this year, and a lot of movies tickets from the local newspaper. She was trying for the Bourne Ultimatum, but won these instead. I checked it out, saw that it was subtitled, thought it might be fun after dinner and a bottle of wine.

It was more than fun, it was funny, charming, well filmed and well written.

It is about Francois (played by Daniel Auteui), an antiques dealer whose acquaintances inform him that not only are they not his friends, but that they do not believe he has any friends because he values things not people. He bets his partner (played by the lovely Julie Gayet) that he actually does have a best friend, when in fact, he does not. He meets Bruno (played brilliantly by Dany Boon), a taxi driver who is also a fact know-it-all and researcher through chance, and tries to get Bruno to teach him how to meet and befriend people after seeing Bruno’s easy ways with people.

Bruno tries to teach him Smile, Sociable and Sincere, but Francois is in it only to win the bet. His clumsy attempts make Bruno and the audience laugh, and Bruno has his own struggles with nerves that are painfully funny.

I won’t spoil the somewhat predictable ending. But all turns out for the best.

It’s playing in Houston at the Greenway Landmark. Even if you don’t like sub-titled films, I’m sure you’ll get a smile and a chuckle out of this one.

Rated PG-13.

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