If I had to express this movie in one word, I’d choose: charming. Populaire is simply delightful, another one of those feel-good movies I’m rather fond of.
Populaire is a French romantic-comedy (yes French, you can watch it on Netflix with subtitles!). Before I dive into it, check out the trailer below:
Rose Pamphyle lives in a small village, with her widowed father and is set to marry boy in the village. Not wanting to live that life she slips away to the city and applies to be a secretary, a job that is all the rage in 1958! Louis Échard, the insurance company owner, finds that Rose as incredible typing speed – with only using two fingers! She’s a terrible secretary but Louis has a thrill for competition and winning. He tells her she can have the job but only if she participates in a typing contest – not just participate, but win.
Why I love it:
I’m a bit of a sucker for movies that are set in the past and it clearly doesn’t have to go to far back! Anything in the 50’s and prior to it really. But I also love the characters, at its core it’s the basic story of a small-town girl looking for something bigger and the beastly type man learning to love again. Sound familiar? I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s outright beauty and the beast but the bits of it are there. Rose is absolutely adorable and while Louis is unlikable he’s likable at the same time.
It’s also the story of the little guy rising to the top – Rose is working her way into larger and larger stages. The movie plays out much like a sports-movie sometime and the director shows typing just as one would show any other sports tournament, keeping you on the edge of your seat and the adrenaline high.
Along with romance and the sporty feel to the movie, it’s also a comedy and not over the top slapstick comedy. The comedy comes subtly and falls the path of most typical rom-coms.
“Even when there’s tragedy around the turn, it doesn’t matter. Populaire plays like a musical – you expect anyone, at any time, to break into song.” – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
I’ve watched this movie a couple of times already now, so it’s definitely one you can pick up and re-watch if you like the classic rom-coms. It’s cute, sweet, a touch of drama, romance and in the end a general feel good movie – which are some of my favorite!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen Populaire or if you have any other good recommendations for foreign films, rom-coms, or feel good movies! I’d love to check some of your recommendations out!
Also for those interested, this movie can be found on Netflix! For sure on the Canadian Netflix – I am not sure if the American Netflix has it though.
Until next time!