The Intouchables

Omar Sy, François Cluzet

Directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2.5
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
May 24, 2012

Like Jerry Lewis, this French buddy comedy is a huge hit with Gallic audiences. Senegalese actor Omar Sy, whose sublimely funny and touching performance won the French Oscar, is spectacular as Driss, an ex-con hired to care for Philippe (François Cluzet), a rich white widower paralyzed after a paragliding accident. The Intouchables, an awkward title that translates as "untouchable," is seriously silly business. Co-written and directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, the film is based on a true story, except that the real caregiver is Arab, not black. There is a strongly vocal contingent among critics who find it cringeworthy and racist to watch a Magical Negro teach whitey to loosen up by boogieing down to Earth, Wind and Fire at a party. I'll leave you to call it as you see it. What I see in The Intouchables, already slated for a U.S. remake by the Weinstein Company, is a tasty bonbon spiked with mirth but light on malice. Crude? Maybe. Insensitive? You bet. But Sy and Cluzet are superb actors who demolish stereotypes about race and social class by finding a common humanity in their characters. Acting this good forgives a lot of sins.

• Peter Travers' Summer Preview: 10 Must-See Movies

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Money For Nothing”

    Dire Straits | 1984

    Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

    More Song Stories entries »