2012-03-02

Les Boys

Note: this a new series of reviews I'm installing on Le Mot du Cinephiliaque. Since I was born and raised in the Province of Québec I've decided to present and review some of the films that populate my culture and that represents the Cinema of here. The feature will be called after our license plate motto: "Je me souviens" for "I remember".
Les Boys aka The Boys (Louis Saïa, 1997)

This sport/comedy film about a team of amateur Hockey players sponsored by the tavern of the corner, Stanley's (Rémi Girard) is a cult film in Québec. The cult status of George Roy Hill's film Slap Shot dubbed in Québec is also one of the most popular films here along with the Disney flick The Mighty Ducks "trilogy". First because of the subject matter: Hockey our national sport and one of the most cultural interest in our people but also because comedies dubbed in Québécois directly talks to us here. Les Boys was such a hit that it was the only film in the world that beat James Cameron's super-mega-giga hit Titanic on its openning weekend here. Hollywood producers were calling their distributors asking: Who are those Boys? It was such a hit that it got three subsequent sequels. In our little Province of eight millions of habitants the film beat numerous records.


The charm of this film comes from the fact that the regular viewer could easily identifies himself with the guy next door players that were united by the team but also for their friendship and loyalty towards Stanley their friend and sponsor. Stanley had to accept a loan from a shylock but we he can't pay Méo (Pierre Lebeau) anymore he must rely on the team. With once again a bunch of well known and liked actors of Québec; Rémi Girard (Incendies, Les invasions barbares, Le déclin de l'empire américain), Marc Messier (Lance et compte), Patrick Huard, Serge Thériault, Michel Barrette, Paul Houde, Yvan Ponton (Slap Shot), Pierre Lebeau, Luc Guérin and many others.

This is far from being a great film and it is passably good, however we cherish this film because it depicts stereotypes of ourselves and we like the self-depreciation, the comedy, and the lovable losers portrayed. It is probably unfunny for those who don't understand French because a dubbed version or even a sub-titled of this wouldn't give justice to the effect of the dialogues and the pedestrian talking of the characters.


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