“Lucky winners”: when hitting the jackpot turns into a nightmare


One chance in nineteen million of winning the lottery! And now she falls on them. A family struggling to make ends meet, a young woman in search of true love, three terrorists preparing to commit an attack, a small group of caregivers devoted to their retirees find themselves as rich as Croesus in a few seconds. Enough to upset them and change their lives. It’s also enough to overturn their scale of values and send everything into a tailspin.

Money, we like to believe, does not buy happiness. It could also generate more vices than virtues. It is in this argument that Maxime Govare and Romain Choay found material for their comedy, Happy Winners . A cruel and immoral sketch film which features four very different short stories, each vividly campy and driven with vigor.

In comedy, writing and rhythm are no favors. Here, both pass the buck, play agility, spare each other the superfluous. The script follows straight, the direction follows, just like the actors. Thus removed from demonstrative effects, the latter are obviously all the more convincing, and even, for some, terribly funny.

Fiercely comic spirit

Fifth feature film by Maxime Govare – including the previous one, The Revenge of the Sequined Shrimp (2022), co-directed with Cédric Le Gallo – and the first to be directed by screenwriter Romain Choay, Happy Winners strives to transform a miracle into a nightmare, history of highlighting the worst aspects of the human soul. In this matter, the authors claim their references, Les Nouveaux Sauvages , by the Argentinian Damian Szifron (2014), Very Bad Things , by the American Peter Berg (1999), Barbaque , by Fabrice Eboué (2021). To which we could add, for their ferociously comic spirit, certain Italian comedies from the 1960s.

It is precisely Fabrice Eboué – in the shoes of a man named Paul – who opens the ball (and who will close it), a bewildered loser who we discover on the national holiday route, at the wheel of a modest car. In the passenger seat, his wife, Louise, at the end of her life, overwhelms her husband with reproaches. How can he lack so much ambition and be content, for himself and his family, with such a pathetic existence? In the back, their two children – pre-teens already recovered from everything – nod.

The discovery in the glove compartment of a pile of Lotto tickets, played in secret by the gentleman, brings the argument to a crescendo. Which is stopped short by the second discovery: the last ticket contains the five winning numbers. The jackpot awaits them a hundred kilometers away, in a collection center in Marseille. They have very little time left before the deadline. The opportunity is too good for the father to transform himself into a hero. The car launched at full speed engages in a race against time, full throttle, white lines crossed, red lights burned… it feels like Taxi . Nothing will stop Paul anymore. Not even the police. Although!

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