Obscure Netflix Recommendation: Populaire

I’m going to do something I rarely do on the blog: give an R rated movie a full endorsement for just about anybody. (Well, it’s not for kids, but in the same way “You’ve Got Mail” isn’t for kids.) Netflix had been pushing Populaire on me–saying I’d give it around four stars. i was more than a little skeptical. It’s a French romantic comedy about a guy who hires a secretary and trains her for the national speed typing competition. This was a movie I was going to love?

Really?

But when you’re looking for something to watch with the wife, and there’s this thing sitting in your queue . . . why not? I looked it up on IMDB first to see why it was R. One scene of sexuality. No language. No violence. One scene that’s all of thirty seconds. (This is French, remember–that practically makes it a family film by French standards.) So I told Denisa not to worry, and we started watching.

Loved it.

How would I describe it to you? An adaptation of My Fair Lady, where they took out the language training and inserted typing. Then add in a bit of Rocky and more than a fair share of Mad Men. If that doesn’t just fascinate you, then I don’t know what would. It’s not that the film is incredibly original in its plot. But it nails the execution, and is a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

Is it perfect? Well, no. But I think if I knew going into it that it was a film that could be trusted, I would have liked it even more. I kept waiting for things to go horribly wrong, and they don’t. So have no fear. This isn’t one of Those Sorts of Movies.

The scene of sexuality? Pretty random, and you can see it coming from a mile away. I think I’ve seen worse in Battlestar Galactica, honestly, but if it’s something that upsets you, then make a quick trip to the bathroom during it–or even just go get a glass of water. By the time you’re back, it’s done. Other than that, movies don’t really get much more squeaky clean than this one.

In any case, it was a very pleasant surprise. 7.5/10 for me. Good times.

2 thoughts on “Obscure Netflix Recommendation: Populaire”

  1. We must live in some weird parallel Netflix universe- you recounted my experience with such clarity. In fact when you said, “This is French, remember–that practically makes it a family film by French standards,” it cracked me up because I said the same thing verbatim to my husband.

  2. Heh. That’s funny. Also, I think I thought you were someone else in a previous response. Sorry! (Unless Ted now has a husband, not a wife–which would be fairly surprising.) Not sure which TC you are, but welcome! 🙂

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