In Let My People Go!, stereotypes serve not to marginalize or ridicule the characters, but to embrace the idiosyncrasies of family, something clearly very near and dear to the director's heart. This is the kind of film that can only come from someone comes from its world to some degree.
Buch's own multicultural background informs the clear affection he has for these characters. Co-written by Christoph Honoré, Let My People Go! is the story of Reuben, a gay French postal worker living in Finland with his husband, Teemu, who is forced to return to France to live with his eccentric Jewish family after the two of them have a fight.
|Nicolas Maury as Ruben and Carmen Maura as Rachel in LET MY PEOPLE GO!|
A film by Mikael Buch. A Zeitgeist Films release.
It's a bit too broad at times, and the outrageousness of the stereotypes are often so over the top as to be silly rather than truly funny, but there's a certain charm about it that is hard to resist. The presence of Almodovar regular Carmen Maura as Reuben's Jewish mother doesn't hurt either. It's a fabulously campy good time, the kind of film the feels like a non-stop party from start to finish. It's neither groundbreaking nor particularly deep, but it's certainly a lot of fun. It's nice to see a film embrace and use stereotypes to its advantage rather than coast on them out of laziness, and Let My People Go! is a winking lampoon of such preconceived notions that gets a lot of mileage out of sheer charm.
GRADE - ★★½ (out of four)
LET MY PEOPLE GO! | Directed by Mikael Buch | Stars Nicholas Maury, Carmen Maura, Jean-François Stévenin, Amira Casar, Clément Sibony, Jarkko Niemi | Not rated | In French w/English subtitles | Now playing in NYC and LA.