If there’s one thing that the success of the French film The Intouchables proves—and it was something of a sensation in Europe last year—it’s that people like seeing love stories on screen, particularly those where two unlikely people come together and find that, against all odds, they complete each other. The fact that The Intouchables is a platonic love story, about two straight men, is irrelevant to this equation. Indeed, the film it often reminded me most of was—wait for it—Pretty Woman.
Strapping young Driss has arrived at an enormous mansion to apply for the job of caretaker to elegant Philippe, a paralyzed aristocrat. Only, he’s not there for the job, merely for the sign-off on his unemployment sheet, so he can collect his benefits.
But Philippe sees something in Driss—that first spark of attraction, you might say—and coaxes him back, luring the nearly homeless young man with the prospect of an enormous bedroom, luxurious bath, and Philippe’s pretty assistant (Audrey Fleurot), whom Driss is sweet on.
Philippe likes Driss because of his youthful spirit, his complete lack of sensitivity to Philippe’s affliction (he makes jokes like “How do you know where...