Category Archives: French films

Lost Cause (Sans Dessein)

Lost Cause (Sans Dessein) (2009) is an offbeat French Canadian comedy that mixes slapstick, vulgar and completely original types of humor.

Paul (Steeve Leonard) is a thirty-something slacker who stumbles through life doing as little as possible. He is content enough to live alone in an apartment where nothing has been unpacked and to work as a janitor, watching miscellaneous how-to videos in his spare time.

He is visited by a ghost who turns out to be his future self, who inhabits various objects, including a mop and an old sock, which creates many opportunities for the slapstick humor.

The ghost, who causes him to lose his job by knocking over his boss’s Eiffel Tower sculpture (made from Q-Tips), informs him that if he doesn’t change his ways he will die a particularly humiliating death in his own bathroom.

For a lighthearted comedy, Lost Cause is rather complex and quite long (just under 2 hours, but seems longer). Paul must choose between two love interests, a woman with whom he had a crush on in elementary school (Julie Tetreault),  who is obsessed with (what she thinks are) his telekinetic powers and a quirky neighbor (Caroline Labreche, who co-directed it along with Leonard).

Although the plot takes various silly twists, it’s really more a series of funny, sometimes touching and sometimes tedious scenes. If you’re used to seeing French films, you’ll notice that the French Canadian accents are noticeably different.

Lost Cause is mostly enjoyable, but it could be more compact and focused. Based on the lack of reviews, or any mention on the MRQE (Movie Review Query Engine), it appears to only be available on Netflix.  There is, however, a listing for it on the IMDb, which is the most complete online movie database. Lost Cause IMDb

While not perfect, I’d recommend it to fans of indie films who like offbeat humor. Some of the laughs were truly bizarre and unexpected, which is more than you can say for the average Hollywood comedy.

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