The Adventures of Felix

(Drole de Felix)


For anybody who thought The Straight Story was too tame, go and watch The Adventures of Felix. It is the same cathartic journey, except instead of going to reconcile with his brother, Felix is traveling to meet the father he never knew. Along the way, he meets various people who end up teaching him lessons about life just as he ends up teaching them. It's a fairly interesting idea, just not carried out as good as it could be. Aside from the fact that the main character is gay, there is little to distinguish The Adventures of Felix from any of the other numerous road trip/self discovery movies. Well, since the movie is French and the main character is gay, that means there is the inevitable male full frontal nudity that American audiences shiver at the thought of.

Each segment of Felix's (Sami Bouajila, Replay, Pretend I'm Not Here) journey has a subtitle centering around a family member. These people all represent the brother, cousin, or grandmother that Felix never knew. Felix is a pleasant person, extremely polite and genteel, but writer/directors Olivier Duscal and Jacques Martineau (Jeanne and the Perfect Guy) never give him much of a personality. Watching Felix is not that interesting. Bouajila is a handsome and capable actor, but really has nothing to do. The movie exists only because Felix decides to hitch his way across the country. His partner is meeting him at a later time; he decided to fly there, which would be the logical choice for Felix. In fact, Felix does not even know if his father is still alive, all he has is an old address.

The willingness of these strangers to accept Felix into their lives for a short time is also improbable. Felix comes in contact with them and they instantly treat him like one of the family, inviting him to stay the night and opening their hearts to him. Maybe it's a European thing, but everything seems a little too sugarcoated. As does the way Duscal and Martineau neatly wrap up each little vignette. Everybody that comes in contact with Felix leaves a better person (although they may not realize it at the time). Felix is like a wandering sage, dispensing good advice to all those around him. The strongest part of The Adventures of Felix is the end, but by then, most of the movie has lost its flavor.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 35 minutes, French with English subtitles, Not Rated but contains nudity, sexuality, and some language and violence, possibly an NC-17 else an easy R.

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