You might not make it to Paris this weekend – or even to the Western Cape’s Franschhoek Bastille Festival – but when you stream these movies on Showmax and Netflix, you’ll get your dose of je ne sais quoi directly from your couch. Pairing them with fine wine and soft cheese? Highly recommended.
Some of these movies have left the streaming platforms they were on at the time of writing. Find another movie here.
The Intouchables (2012): Netflix
Hilarious from the get-go, Earth, Wind and Fire’s nostalgic feel-good music sets the tone for this uplifting true story. The Intouchables centres on the blossoming friendship between an aristocratic quadriplegic Parisian and his inexperienced and unlikely live-in caretaker.
A triumph of the human spirit, this coming-of-age buddy movie is jam-packed with heart, warmth and moxie.
Both influencing each other for the better, the duo’s wild adventures and wonderful chemistry turn this infectious comedy into a film worth repeating. A triumph of the human spirit, this coming-of-age buddy movie is jam-packed with heart, warmth and moxie. Priceless moments fill the smash hit French comedy, rightfully earning Omar Sy personality of the year from Le Journal du Dimanche.
IMDB rating: 8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 75%
Midnight in Paris (2011): Showmax
Woody Allen has a penchant for New York comedies, which is why it’s surprising that one of his best films is actually set in Paris. Being the city of love and lights, it’s one of those magical destinations where sequels tend to land. Midnight in Paris follows a Hollywood screenwriter who’s forced to reassess his relationship with a materialistic fiancee after he’s magically transported back in time each night at midnight.
Glowing with a stellar cast including Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris immerses us in the mystique, nostalgia and shimmer of 1920s Parisian culture. Enriched by encounters with Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, Gertrude Stein and F Scott Fitzgerald, it’s an artful, entertaining and sharp-witted fantasy comedy to savour.
IMDB rating: 7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%
I Am Not an Easy Man (2018): Netflix
In this gender-bending fantasy comedy, Damien, a proud chauvinist, finds himself in an alternate world where gender roles are reversed. After a bump on the head, he wakes up to discover a female-dominated world in which he experiences overt sexism himself. Now off-balance, trying to seduce Alexandra, a chauvinistic novelist, and joining the campaign for men’s rights, he’s confronted with his own shortfalls.
Vincent Elbaz and Marie-Sophie Ferdane drive this amusing and at times scathing comedy as Damien and Alexandra respectively. Elbaz is fully committed as the handsome fall guy, who becomes the object of affection. The fiery Ferdane plays his equal-opposite, a mirror for introspection.
Entertaining, cleverly flipping social norms, confronting hard truths and toying with gender roles, it’s a great conversation starter.
IMDB rating: 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 80%
Raw (2016): Showmax
The French may be known for eating frogs and snails, but French horror drama Raw takes exotic diets to the extreme. A vegetarian first-year veterinary student’s participation in initiation ceremonies lead her on a downward spiral.
While the message is subtle, it speaks to society’s underlying hypocrisy and hints at why we’re preoccupied with vampires and werewolves.
What starts as a coming-of-age college drama turns into a dark, harrowing, unsettling and bloody horror.
This is an original, compelling, daring, disturbing, thoughtful and well-acted horror that will make you cringe, shake your head and keep watching.
Thankfully, the fantasy genre and subtitles add distance, buffering Raw’s unflinching violence, gore and sexuality. While the message is subtle, it speaks to society’s underlying hypocrisy and hints at why we’re preoccupied with vampires and werewolves.
IMDB rating: 7/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%