Synopsis by Mark Deming
A man considers the fine line between friendship and family as he crosses France by foot in this comedy. Felix (Sami Bouajila) is a cheerful thirty-something from Normandy who is part-Arab by birth and 100 percent French by inclination; Felix is also gay and HIV-positive, though the ups and downs of the characters on his favorite soap opera trouble him more than his health, which he regards with a good-natured stoicism. Felix has never really known his father, who left his mother before Felix was born, and after he receives some old letters his dad wrote to his mother, Felix decides its time they talked before it's too late. Figuring his father's likely whereabouts in Marseilles from the letters, Felix packs up his knapsack and hits the road, planning on hiking cross country and meeting up with his boyfriend, Daniel (Pierre-Loup Rajot), in a couple of weeks. Along the way, Felix's open-hearted charm allows him to make several new friends, and before long he's bonded with a number of people he's embraced as a surrogate family: Mathilde (Patachou), an elderly woman with regrets about her life; Isabelle (Ariane Ascaride), a single mother who can't find a stable relationship; Daniel (Pierre-Loup Rajot), a teenager coming to terms with his sexuality; and a "cousin" (Philippe Garziano) interested in kites with whom Felix has a brief fling (while they practice safe sex, their al fresco encounter leads to a dreaded and painful malady -- poison ivy). As Felix moves onwards toward Marseilles, he and his new friends ponder the notion of family -- is it defined by blood, or by your heart and soul? Drôle de Félix was released in English-speaking territories under two different titles, Funny Felix and The Adventures of Felix.
estrangement, father, friendship, HIV, homosexual, road-trip, soap-opera