Coluche, l'histoire d'un mec (2008)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], Period Film, Political Drama, Showbiz Drama  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Nathan Southern

To the French, Michel "Coluche" Colucci (1944-86) was not merely a household name but a veritable institution. A stocky, goofy comic who often turned up in big screen farces such as L'Aile Ou la Cuisse (1976) and Inspecteur la Bavure (1980) , Colucci gained notoriety for his emotionally rocky and stormy personal life that witnessed him battling alcoholism and extreme drug addiction - making him something of a French equivalent to John Belushi or Chris Farley. Unlike Belushi or Farley, however, Coluche made the unusual decision (for one of his background) to briefly enter mainstream politics. In a bid for the French presidential nomination in 1981, he delighted many and shocked others by reeling in an impressive 15% of the French popular vote - reason enough to believe that this actor, with solid humanitarian values and a commitment to civil rights, might have actually stood a solid chance had he campaigned more aggressively and remained in the running for a longer period. Antoine de Caunes's biopic Coluche, l'Histoire d'un mec hones in exclusively on this intriguing period of the comic's life and career, with Fran├žois-Xavier Demaison playing the famous actor. The tale begins with his impulsive and drug-fueled decision to run on the ticket, coaxing bums, drunks and social outcasts to band together and lay waste to mainstream politicians. When Coluche pulls in around 10% of the vote, he draws the ire of politicos Fran├žois Mitterand and Valerie Giscard d'Estaing, who promptly send out an advisor to dissuade the funnyman from running. Director de Caunes spends the majority of the film cross-cutting between recreations of Coluche's popular stage acts, and a not uncritical look at the star's attempts to push himself to his very limits and beyond -- with a mainstream political run that began as a joke but quickly took on very real and frightening proportions.