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"Let My People Go!": Finally, a Funny French Sex Comedy 

Wednesday, Apr 17 2013

In his comic strip Life in Hell, Matt Groening once described cinema's greatest paradox thusly: "The French are funny, sex is funny, comedy is funny, and yet no French sex comedies are funny." Which is funny because it's true, though Mikael Buch's Let My People Go! is that rare French sex comedy that is actually pretty funny. It helps that the film's not about men trying to have sex with women, but rather about a gay man named Ruben (Nicolas Maury) who has been wrongly exiled from his idyllic life with his boyfriend in Finland and finds himself back with his dysfunctional family in Paris just in time for Passover. Of course, the "home for the holidays" genre wouldn't really exist if the protagonist's family wasn't dysfunctional (or at least zany), but that's another of the tropes that Let My People Go! subverts: Not only is Ruben long since out to them, he's far from being the fulcrum of drama in the family, instead getting pulled into their heterosexual woes against his will. So, to recap: Buch's movie is French, there's sex (usually involving unexpected people in unexpected places), it's a comedy, and in spite of those apparent handicaps, it has lots of laughs. Let My People Go! has cracked the code.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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