Gilles Lellouche and Malik Bentalha are impeccable in front of Mohamed Hamidi’s camera.
The story of So far, so good, to be reviewed on Sunday on TMC, is simple: to escape a sanction for tax evasion, the boss of a Parisian communications agency must move his offices and employees to the worst district of La Courneuve. When he arrives there, it’s a nightmare: burnt cars, racketeering on all floors… the film will depict the meeting between this self-confident startuper (Gilles Lellouche impeccable) and a young man from the suburbs with a vague handle on the dog who will serve as their surety and fixer (Malik Bentalha, perfect). Sit down the comedy can begin.
On paper it is sewn with white thread: the clash of opposites. A hackneyed but explosive theme since recently, Neuilly his mother, his mother had shown how such ideas could quickly descend into caricature and opportune cynicism. Mohamed Hamidi’s film is much finer and cleverer than that. Funnier too and inhabited by a true ideal. Above all, it is very successful because there is a hint of Italian comedy in it. Hamidi knows how to tell in a few shots the daily resourcefulness, the buzzing solidarity and the energy of the collective which makes it possible to survive in these suburbs. We are never in satire, but rather in a tender humor (which knows how to be corrosive) which goes quickly, propelled by the war machines that are its actors.
Because what counts is not only the message (we’ll get out of it by helping each other and mixing up our differences), it’s the characters, all perfectly typed and who form a nice bunch of clowns like in the best days of the comedy ritual. Lellouche and Bentalha seem to organize their failure (professional or personal) like others create letters of nobility: with consistency and application. They struggle in ruined areas and their clumsiness borders on the sublime. Bentalha, Pierre Richard 2.0, is amazing as a canine-freaked handler. At his side we find the right arm of the agency, severe but fair, played with an ideal sense of tempo by Sabrina Ouazani. We come across a gang of gypsies who are trying to professionalize their weed dealing, an accountant who turns zen and Krishna, a larger-than-life DA, kids who hang around and act as an ancient choir. And in the middle of all this: imperial Lellouche, at ease in all registers, pooch when necessary, moving when necessary, and managing to bind his team. The whole thing is packed with jokes and gags that hit the mark without ever being afraid of the cliché or the politically incorrect (one of the characters tries to create a diversion and attract the attention of the cops by repeating timid “fuck the police”and ends up yelling a “Allahu Akbar” who rounds up the condés illico). A real unstoppable feel good comedy.
So far so good received the public prize at the Alpe d’Huez festival 2019. Here is its trailer:
So far so good: Gilles Lellouche and Malik Bentalha facing our 3rd year intern