Movie  Fiston, directed by Pascal Bourdiaux
27/08/201800:00 Judith Prescott

Kev Adams, one of the co-stars of Pascal Bourdiaux’s film Fiston, is hugely popular among France’s younger generation. His one-man stand-up comedy shows regularly pack out venues all over the country, he stars in his own TV series, Soda, and had a lead role in the most successful French film of 2013, Les Profs which attracted an audience of nearly four million. Now he appears to be cashing in on his appeal with an unashamedly frothy, comedy aimed at his large fan base.

Adams plays 20-something student Alex, who has been in love with classmate Sandra Vallenti since he was seven-years-old. Too shy to even talk to her, he needs to find the one person he thinks can help and tracks down Antoine Chamoine, (Franck Dubosc) a reclusive writer who, 20 years earlier, had seduced Monica Vallenti, Sandra’s mother. What follows is no surprise. Under Antoine’s tutelage, the gauche Alex is able to overcome his shyness and approach the beautiful Sandra. But does she turn out to be the woman of his dreams? Adams and Dubosc make an odd comic duo.

A few years ago, Dubosc was in Adam’s position with a run of successful one-man shows and a string of popular films including CampingDisco and Asterix aux Jeux Olympiques, but he has struggled in recent years to hit a winning streak. His dry, character-based comedy is not a natural fit alongside Adams’ observational, more physical brand of humour. There’s a sense of comedy-by-numbers and Fiston cries out for a zany, madcap element.

The script rehashes the same jokes time after time which makes for heavy going. And once it has been established that Antoine is an uptight, old-hipster and Alex, a cringeingly, inept dork, there’s nowhere else for the film to go. Adams’ self-effacing, innocence is not without charm. A lot of his stand-humour is based around his unorthodox looks which is used to its full effect in Fiston. He can act and it’s a shame he is not pushed out of his comfort zone and into darker, more edgy comedy to see if he is capable of greater things.

Watch this movie on our network - find schedules in your local timezone here. The article was originally published on Judith Prescott's blog, French Cinema Review. See the bio below for more information on our contributing blogger!
I have worked as a journalist for 24 years both in London, England and now in Paris, France. I was a broadcast journalist for the English service of Radio France Internationale in Paris for 17 years before leaving to set up a blog for French cinema fans everywhere. I also worked as a reviewer of French films for The Hollywood Reporter and was a jury member for the Prix Michel d'Ornano at the Festival of American Films at Deauville. I am passionate about French films, both old and new, and want to share this passion with filmgoers around the globe.

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