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Pyrmont Reviews: Welcome to the sticks (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis)

movie 1 Pyrmont Reviews: Welcome to the sticks (Bienvenue chez les Chtis)If you guys in Pyrmont are looking for something to do, go along and see Welcome to the Sticks/Welcome to the land of the Shti’s (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis). Check out our review by Denieal Williams.

This movie is the sweet and funny tale of Philippe Abrams (Kad Merad) a postal worker who, in order to cheer up his depressed wife Julie (Zoé Félix), attempts to get a job transfer to move his family to a southern sea side town. A botched attempt to con a postal inspector to get what he wants, has him instead banished for two years to the northern town of Bergues.

Steeped in stereotypical notions and prejudices about life in ‘the sticks” Julie refuses to go with Philippe to the north, and instead remains home with their young son. The Abrams fully expect to encounter harsh weather, abandoned coalmines and an unsophisticated and ignorant population of alcoholics. The people of the north are thought to be yokels who speak an incomprehensible Ch’ti dialect and live miserable lives. The play on the dialect is a little challenging for a foreign audience to grasp, but some of the humour still manages to come across. There are plenty other enjoyable moments in the films including some hilarious bits of slapstick.

Philippe finds himself pleasantly surprised when he finally arrives in Bergues, which proves to be beautiful and full of delightful and warm people. Hilarity ensues when Philippe engages in many of the town’s quirky customs. He soon is enchanted, and forms close friendships with his staff at the post office. Afraid to tell his wife the truth about Bergues, Philippe is forced to keep up a charade of suffering on his bi-weekly visits home. Julie falls easily in the supportive wife role, and refuses to believe anything but the worst about the town. When she decides the best way to be supportive is to move the family up north it threatens to expose Phillipe and his secret life.

Welcome to the Sticks is written, directed and co-starring popular comedian Dany Boon, a proud Ch’ti, which lends the film an authentic flair. Boon plays Antoine Bailleul a postal worker at Philippe’s new office, who pines over co-worker Annabelle (Anne Marivin). Welcome to the Sticks touches on the themes of love, friendship and acceptance in a gentle and light hearted way. All the characters are lovable, including the hilariously over bearing mother of Antione (Line Renaud). The film has already achieved great success in France and has many tourists flocking to the town hoping to bask in some of its charm. This heart-warming tale is a great choice for a light laugh-out-loud entertainment.

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