Unlike many gay-themed films, Adventures of Felix isn't about how the title character comes out of the closet, falls in love, or contracts HIV. We meet Felix (Sami Bouajila), who is of Arab descent, after these things have... more » already come to pass. He and his partner live happily together in Dieppe, and his condition is under control. When he loses his job, he decides to travel to Marseilles to meet the father who left before he was born. Thus begins a road trip that is divided into five parts ("My Grandmother," "My Sister," etc.) as Felix meets strangers who help him out in various ways and come to fulfill these roles. By the time he reaches his destination, he realizes that family is what you make it. It may sound simplistic, but Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau spin the tale in an engaging manner, and Bouajila is a real find. --Kathleen C. Fennessy« less
"The Adventures of Felix is an enjoyable film to view but it's not one I suspect I will watch over and over again. It does offer a nice variety of background scenery as Felix takes a trip to meet his father who he has never known, following the death of his mother. A funny thing happens on the way to Marseilles. Actually SEVERAL things, not all of them funny, but it definately has its moments. It seems that everyone who's paths cross with Felix' is drawn to him like "stink on a skunk" as we say in Oklahomo. These adventures include a steamy sexcapade with a driver who gives him a ride (in more ways than one), an elderly woman who takes him in to her home to keep him from sleeping on a park bench and taking the risk of being mugged, a woman with a van load of children who decides she wants to spend the night with him although he is gay, and her children who quickly refer to him as "Uncle Felix" on a road trip of their own enroute to their individual dad's homes for the weekend. The only people who don't seem to warm up to him are the men he witnesses killing another man, and his father of course who doesn't know Felix is his son. The two meet however and eventually have a relationship which satisfies Felix and gives him the sence that his journey was not in vain. In the process he solves a crime as the only witness. All in all, very good acting and a good cast. A nice gay road trip film, complete with comedy, drama, adventure, mystery and a little horror all rolled into one."
Very Upbeat Road Trip Film
MB Silver | 10/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is truly a wonderfully charming film. It is refreshing to see a movie deal with a character being HIV positive who is approaching his condition in such a positive way. This movie, much like Brokeback Mountain, is not only for a gay audience. Everyone could benefit from experiencing Felix and his journey. I recently saw Umbrellas of Cherbourg for the first time, and there is a certain charm that is unique to French films. Plus of course the language is so beautiful. It does present a lot of heavy issues in a very entertaining way. Sami Bouajila is a magnetic screen presence. I can see this actor has been quite busy so I will check out his other films. Also the jazz score is extremely appealing!! This is a GEM!!!"
A bit tedious but joyous nonetheless
R. Quigley | St. Louis, MO | 02/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Adventures of Felix is a movie that you must be patient with. The pacing can be a bit slow but the center and end of it begin to pull the pieces together. It wasn't until after the movie was over that I realized how much I really liked it.
We follow Felix (who is HIV+...don't worry it's not one of those movies about HIV...this film dealt with it without the heavy-handedness that most movies do. Felix takes his pills and that's about it. ) who decides to take a trip to the south of France to see the father he's never met after being laid off. Meeting his father becomes irrelevant as he encounters an assorted bunch of characters that reveal more about Felix than he reveals about himself (my favorite was "the grandmother" who was a hoot). There is an incidental sexual encounter with "the cousin" (you'll understand when you see the movie--he's not really his cousin) but it's shown very flippantly as if it's just another part of the adventure (don't expect full on sex in this movie b/c you won't get it). The fact that Felix has a boyfriend doesn't seem to bother either of them.
The movie is designed to expand the definition of family and it does so without the sap. Sami Bouajila is quite charming, incredibly SEXY and, as Felix, a little self-absorbed. The movie is not terrifically deep; it's a nice little story that has a nice, little ending. "
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 07/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sami Bouajila who won the Best Actor award at Cannes in 2006 for "Days of Glory" plays Felix. Felix is French with Arab genes. He goes on a road trip that lets us share his episodic journey to Marseilles. Felix's significant other is Daniel played by Pierre-Loup Rajot, who looks like a French version of Mr. Clean with his baldhead and facial hair. Felix decides he needs to meet his biological father and promises to meet Daniel when he gets to his journey. Along his way, he has a number of different encounters with characters from a young boy. (If my memory is correct, this was the character of Jules played by Charly Sergue.) The boy is an artist who invites Felix to crash at his place. A series of encounters occur including getting an underage Jules into a club & stealing a car. All of this is approached as a lark that is carefree. Jules decides he wants more action than Felix is willing to give; so Felix continues on his journey. One of the most interesting encounters comes with an elderly woman Mathilde played by Patachou. Patachou whose first film was in 1955, does a great job as the somewhat lonely but tolerant woman who enjoys Felix's company for as long as it lasts. Felix meets a young mother Isabelle played by Ariane Ascaride who won the French Academy of Cinema Best Actress award in 1997 for "Marius et Jeannette." As Felix arrives in Marseilles, he has a philosophical conversation with a fisherman played by Maurice Benichou. Benichou does an excellent job, bringing an entire life before your eyes with a few brief scenes. Probably the most sensational aspect of the film is Felix's encounter with the railroad man, described as "cousin," played by Philippe Garziano. Although there are several covers for the DVD, the one currently listed shows the guys taking off their shirts while flying a kite in the French countryside. There is a flash of frontal nudity that results in a case of poison ivy "where the sun don't shine." The French approach to this part of their lives is very matter-of-fact and shown without anxiety or sentimentality. Directors Oliver Ducastel & Jacques Martineau have worked together on two subsequent films, "My Life on Ice" & "Cockles & Muscles." The movie meanders through the French countryside, which is gorgeous. I don't know if there is any great moral attached to this picture other than just to realize that life is passing; so enjoy each day. It's a pleasant picture with some brilliant moments from Patachou & Benichou. Enjoy!"
Lost In Translation?
H. F. Corbin | ATLANTA, GA USA | 01/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is my third road movie in my last three rentals. I'm off this genre for the foreseeable future. The young man who plays Felix is certainly easy on the eyes, the French countryside is beautiful, and it's refreshing to see a character apparently healthy as he takes his HIV medications on schedule. The movie unfortunately doesn't really ever go anywhere. In the beginning of the film Felix, who has just lost his job, decides that he will pack up, leave his caring teacher lover and go looking for his father. Along the way he meets a "little brother" type with whom he steals a car containing a young baby, a "grandmother" type, a hunky "cousin" who he has a brief romp with and finally a "father" figure. I must have blinked or something got lost in translation since all at once Felix apparently is no longer interested in finding his real father but had a reunion with his lover and they go off into the proverbial sunset.
I even listened to the directors' commentary supplied on the DVD, something that is almost always fruitless since a director who has to spend 90 minutes explaining what he was trying to do is usually fighting a losing battle. That is certainly the case here.