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Review: Sticking Together


- Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern sign a hilarious and caustic parable on political confusion and hypocrisy, embodied by a Jonathan Cohen and a Vincent Macaigne in chains and unchained

Review: Sticking Together
Vincent Macaigne and Jonathan Cohen in Sticking Together

On my right, Didier Béquet (Jonathan Cohen), elected "various extreme centre," sexist ("it's the great replacement: they're going to take all our jobs; before, they would all get it"), racist and xenophobic ("Ramadan is like Fashion Week, it feels like it's all the time"), supporter of excessive surveillance, manipulator ("white hair reassures old people") and a totally unabashed, festive liar. On my left, Pascal Molitor (Vincent Macaigne), a vegetarian and vaping ecologist elected official, a killjoy for his employees ("we had more fun before with the former mayor: expense accounts, little notes..."), harassed by drunken hunters and navigating the streets of his commune on an electric bike, electric scooter, electric car, apparently very well anchored in his values ("I'm not funny, global warming is not funny"), but childless, single and deprived of a libido for three years.

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It is in the France of all the very small provincial towns, at the heart of the exercise of local political power, that Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern have set their new anarcho-libertarian social comedy, Sticking Together [+see also:
film profile
, released today in France by Ad Vitam. A biting film full of black humour, but still "tenderly" human in the filmmakers' usual style, yet which resonates on a wider scale as it hits the screens on the eve of the presidential elections in France and "at the same time," (the original French title which means, in other words, "beyond the right and the left," beyond ideological boundaries) was the favourite gimmick of the current holder of the presidential chair and candidate for re-election, Emmanuel Macron, when he rose to the top of the country.

Having to discuss an imminent inter-municipal vote on the Citizen Park project ("it's impossible to destroy a thousand-year-old forest for a leisure park. – 200 jobs! We have trees, we don’t have jobs!"), mayors Béquet and Molitor, our two archetypal protagonists, on the perfect (and amusing) limit between caricature and hyper-realism, go on a binge and, from drink to drink and from the restaurant to the shabby local night bar ("The IMF," with its very gloomy back room) find themselves in a completely unprecedented, very awkward and incongruous position, trapped in the dark by a feminist activist (India Hair). Our two politicians on opposite sides (but capable of very similar lies) are physically glued to each other and behind each other (in a "cock to ass" posture with a powerful industrial product). "It's shameful!" and a solution must absolutely be found to get unstuck. A night of very complicated travel and hilarious and absurd peregrinations begins...

A burlesque and hilarious parable ("you risk a double tear") which the excellent Jonathan Cohen and Vincent Macaigne greedily take on, Sticking Together holds its own over the long term, even if the comic effect naturally loses some of its intensity as the viewer becomes accustomed to this quadrupedal creature, this two-headed primate whose forced rapprochement will also have ideological consequences as a trio of enthusiastic anti-patriarchy activists also sets out to find it. After tax havens, pension bureaucracy, the uberisation of society, disability, poverty, etc., Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern once again pulverise the boundaries of political correctness, mercilessly denouncing without ever despising. If everything is not always perfect in the humorous and ubiquitous sequence of events (when you start from such a high base, it's difficult to stay at such a high altitude), it doesn't matter, because being funny, audacious and intelligent is far from being within everyone's reach. But it is for Delépine and Kervern, and it's salutary, like a sort of public service to the 7th art, whose existence is to be welcomed in an environment where satire is often misinterpreted.

Produced by Ad Vitam Production and No Money Productions, Sticking Together is sold by Wild Bunch International.

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(Translated from French)

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