The Philippe Lacheau phenomenon
by Fabien Lemercier
- The actor is currently basking in the glow of the dazzling opening enjoyed by Alibi.com, which he directed solo, and is about to appear in Christ(off)
In the current film landscape, where national comedies are taking the French box office by storm, Philippe Lacheau is undeniably establishing himself as one of the main breakthrough talents of the last few years. He is an important standard bearer of an off-the-wall brand of comedy, and co-directed (with Nicolas Benamou) the hugely successful Babysitting [+see also:
film profile] (2.35 million admissions in 2013 – for which he wrote the screenplay on his own) and Babysitting 2: All Gone South [+see also:
film profile] (3.2 million viewers in late 2015–early 2016; from a screenplay he co-penned with Benamou, Julien Arruti and Pierre Dudan), two movies in which he also starred as one of the leads. Lacheau then stepped behind the camera alone (while still acting) for his third feature as a director, Alibi.com [+see also:
film profile], which began its theatrical run by taking 1.12 million admissions in its opening week (distributed by StudioCanal). The film, which again boasts a script written by him, Pierre Dudan and Julien Arruti, follows the misadventures of a company that invents all sorts of alibis and cunning contrivances to cover their clients’ tracks, until one day, an encounter with a beautiful blonde woman starts to complicate matters... This Fechner Films production also stars Julien Arruti, Tarek Boudali, Elodie Fontan, Didier Bourdon and Nathalie Baye, and is being sold overseas by TF1 Studio.
In March and April, Lacheau will be filming Christ(off), set to be directed by Pierre Dudan. As the topliner, this time he will be joined by rising star Ahmed Sylla (currently in theatres in The Climb [+see also:
film profile], which has taken over 900,000 admissions in four weeks), Bernard Le Coq, Jarry and, once again, Julien Arruti and Élodie Fontan. Written by the director together with Sophie Depooter, Julien Arruti and Philippe Lacheau, based on an original idea by Fanny Desmares, the story revolves around a very straightforward concept: "He’s Christ, but he doesn’t know it…" Produced by Alexandra Fechner for Fechner Films, the comedy will be distributed by Pathé.
Lastly, we should mention that Lacheau was also busy last summer, filming Epouse-moi mon pote (formerly Mariage (blanc) pour tous), the feature-length directorial debut by Tarek Boudali (who also wrote the screenplay and plays one of the leads alongside Lacheau). This Axel Films production was co-produced by M6 Films and StudioCanal, which will release the movie in France and is selling it internationally.
(Translated from French)
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