On Friendships

All friends are friends in a different way. James Salter

I have been mulling over three films I’ve seen recently, thinking about what I might say about each one. Then a couple of days ago, I suddenly realized they have a common theme, namely the various forms of friendship. (This sometimes happens when I’ve been mulling over something for a while and not getting anywhere.)

The Intouchables
The Intouchables depicts the unlikely friendship between Philippe, a wealthy French tetraplegic (all four limbs are paralyzed) and Driss, a young Senegalese offender who is hired to be his live-in caretaker. From an awkward adjustment to his life in Philippe’s Parisian townhouse and Philippe’s needs, a delightful bond develops between these two individuals from vastly different cultures.

Monsieur Lazhar
Bashir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant with a painful past and uncertain status in Montreal, learns of a teacher who committed suicide in a nearby school. He presents himself to the school’s principal, describes his teaching background and is hired as a replacement. At first the students resent his presence, miss their former teacher, but as times passes a reciprocal love and respect develops between the students and Lazhar, as well as been Lazhar and other members of the faculty.

Take This Waltz
Margot and Daniel meet by chance on a flight back to Toronto. Although devotedly married, she finds herself attracted to him. Surprisingly Daniel lives across the street from Margot and her husband Lou. Margot and Daniel do little to avoid the mutual infatuation that develops between them. The ambivalence of their romantic attraction becomes the slow waltz that sometimes characterizes a friendship.