“Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” (in English, “Welcome to the Sticks”) is the most successful French comedy so far, with about a quarter of the population in France rushing to movie theatres to enjoy an hour and a half of laughs and tears at the same time.
I will let Julia Frey, in her article entitled “Pang and Ch’tis”, introduce the movie to you:
“Currently, the wildly successful comedy Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis -pronounced sh-tee- (Welcome to the Sticks), has sold more tickets than any French-made film in history, including France’s most expensive film to date, Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques. At this writing, approximately 25 percent of France has been to see this gentil (charming) farce about a postal clerk from sunny Provence forcibly relocated to a small town in France’s far north, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region along the Belgian border. Shot in Bergues (pronounced “berk“-which is also slang for “yuck”-pop. 4,200), not far from Dunkerque, it uses gags about torrential rains starting at the boundary and hard-drinking, unemployed rednecks who eat bread slathered in stinky cheese dipped in chicory-flavored coffee, while speaking an incomprehensible dialect called Ch’timi, whence their nickname, “les Ch’tis“. They replace “s” with “ch” (you know that singer Chtevie Wonder?), call their buddies “biloute” (regularly confused with biroute, slang for the male sex organ) and end every sentence with hein? (huh? pronounced a little like a duck quacking). All this slapstick has an underlying message: le Nord can be a wonderful place. “People arrive in tears”, someone says, “and leave in tears”. ”
An American version of the movie was planned to be shot (the story would have been about a New Yorker being sent to a small town in Texas), and Eddie Murphy was thought of as embodying the main character, but it seems that the project has been abandonned recently. However, I hear that the concept had been exported to Italy and other European countries.
Anyway, here is the trailer:
Once again, this is a feel-good movie, a good way to relax at the end of a long week, and of course there will be free snacks and beverages!!!
See you on Thursday, in WLT 21, at 7:30PM !