Omar Sy is one of France’s most popular actors, and it’s not hard to see why. His combination of charm and elegance with Afro virility can sometimes be too ‘big’ for the moment, but has been ideally suited for films such as The Intouchables (2011) and Monsieur Chocolat 2016). In this serving of double Brie, he plays Samuel, a general dog’sbody and party animal at one of those tacky Euro resorts where everybody sunbathes in neat rows of deckchairs, like sardines in a tin. When Kristin (Clémence Poésy), a fling from last summer, turns up and leaves him with a baby she claims is his, Samuel’s life takes a wacky turn for the better. The kid grows up to be curly-haired Gloria (Gloria Colston), and it is as a gorgeous, perfectly adjusted eight-year-old that we spend most of our time with her and Samuel. It’s a bit rich for director Hugo Gélin to ask us to believe that unskilled Samuel, who can’t speak a word of English, would lob in London and, upon his arrival, riding the Underground from Heathrow, meet Bernie (Antoine Bertrand), a gay movie producer who immediately hires Samuel and puts him up in a you-beaut house in a hipster part of town. But we go with it because Sy is the sort of irresistible actor who owns the screen. Samuel’s career flourishes, as does the relationship with his adorable daughter – he is the perfect single dad and she the perfect child. The bubble bursts, however, when Kristin arrives back on the scene and demands custody of her kid. The mother’s actions are not entirely unreasonable, but it is with Sy that our sympathies lie – and more so owing to the streak of nastiness that is written into Kristin’s character. It’s hard not to be caught up in the drama as it unfolds, but the twists that Gélin keeps up his sleeve until the very last have too much of a ‘gotcha’ feeling about them. The soundtrack is intrusive, but London looks great and what’s not to love about Sy?
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