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Foreign Comedy - France - Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis / Welcome to the Sticks

France - Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis / Welcome to the Sticks
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Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis / Welcome to the Sticks
Kad Merad, Zoe Felix, Danny Boon
Directed by Danny Boon
French with English subtitles
France 2008
106 minutes

Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis / Welcome to the Sticks is a funny comedy from France. This foreign film was the biggest hit in French history and, of course, Hollywood is going to kill it in a remake due in 2010. Before that happens, you can watch this foreign comedy on DVD in the original French with English subtitles that respects the Ch’ti language particularities.

When postmaster Philippe Abrams is caught trying to fraudulently get transferred to the south of France he is instead transferred to the northernmost part of the country, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, the shticks.  How far north and how bad is Nord-Pas-de-Calais? Mentioning you are going there talks you out of a ticket.

Nord-Pas-de-Calais is the home of the Ch’tis. These are ordinary French people with their own regional particularities and a rather peculiar accent. Of course, the postmaster learns to love the shticks and itsh peoples.

The problem ish will hish wife and kid when they eventually move there. Eshpechially after he has told his wife horror stories about the place to, believe it or not, keep her happy. Things get sublimely funny and absurd when the missus makes it up to Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

Unlike your usual French comedy, this DVD is neither all slapstick or too verbose (God knows how the French can talk!). Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis is a well-written French film with great comedic timing, excellent actors, and the kind of story that easily crosses boundaries. Kad Merad is excellent as the ordinary guy whose life seems to have taken a turn for the worse in a very strange land.

There is even a very good Ch’tis version of Who’s on first?

Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis / Welcome to the Sticks is a pretty good foreign film comedy from France but I am not convinced it is worth the 35$ Amazon.ca was charging for this DVD last time I checked



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