Beginning with impressive opening shots of a young woman fishing in a Thailand beach paradise, Five becomes a fast-paced comedy that manages to entertain, despite an unconvincing plot. Written, directed by and starring Igor Gotesman, it follows five childhood friends as they bumble their way through jobs, university and relationships. Julia (Margot Bancilhon), the only female member of the group, is secretly in a relationship with one of the friends while another, Timothée (François Civil), pines after her. Samuel (Yves Saint Laurent’s Pierre Niney), who lives off his wealthy father, manages to find them all a lavish flat in the heart of Paris. Everything seems perfect until Samuel is cut off when his father learns he has been attending acting classes instead of medical school. In desperation, he takes a job as a valet and sells drugs on the side, and soon the group is saddled with four kilos of marijuana to sell or they face eviction.
All this sets the scene for an easygoing buddy comedy that owes much to similar American films such as The Hangover and Superbad. A series of gross-out jokes, drug mishaps and low-key run-ins with Banlieues criminals are set to a cheerful pop soundtrack that keeps the pace brisk, even when the plot takes one of several implausible turns. While it is difficult to feel sympathy for the spoiled Samuel, who turns to drugs not out of tragic circumstance but to support his carefree, playboy lifestyle and those of his friends, the talented young cast bring the five highly individual characters to life, and are introduced in a hilarious opening montage.
Gotesman is said to be a fan of American director Judd Apatow, and indeed Five contains some disgusting moments and sexual humour that would make even Seth Rogen squirm. However, due to their previous collaborations, Niney, Gotesman and Civil have an easy, lived-in chemistry that means all the jokes, situations and twists seem to work perfectly. The film leaves its young characters in the middle of nowhere, with an unknown future but with friends they can count on – something that many people in their twenties will undoubtedly relate to.
Five is released in selected cinemas on 26th June 2016.
Watch the trailer for Five here:
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