Salut de Québec!
This writer is presently on a five-week program attempting to learn French in La Belle Province. Part of this program is the cultural experience, which for me amounts to the consumption of poutine – french fries with cheese curds and gravy – and Unibroue and Boréale beer. (How jealous are you, TC? Editor’s Note: Very jealous, Andy. Do you know how much Unibroue costs down here?) However, the animateurs – those in charge of giving us things to do and making sure we speak only French – program Québecois films for our viewing pleasure and cultural benefit. Last night, they screened us a brilliant Canadian picture called Bon Cop Bad Cop. I pray the reader will forgive any factual inaccuracies as a result of my inability to understand all of the film, being that it was screened in French with French subtitles. The film is generically predictable: an action comedy cop-buddy movie in the Lethal Weapon/Beverly Hills Cop vein. As a result, the film is a fun ride with plenty of action and great dialogue and a pretty sweet sex scene.
But beyond that, this film is about the fragile Canadian identity and the tension between French and English Canada. It begins with a killing and a body found perched on a sign. The sign reads “Welcome to Ontario” on the east side and “Bienvenue au Québec” on the side facing west. Instead of calling in the federal police, two provincial cops, one from Toronto and the other from Montréal, partner up to solve the case. What follows is a commentary on creeping Americanization, hockey, and what it means to be Canadian.