Mr. Average (DVD Review)20 Feb, 2009 By: John Latchem
In French with English subtitles.
Stars Khalid Maadour, Caroline Dhavernas.
Mr. Average is a French farce that calls into question our consumerism and fascination with celebrity.
Jalil (Khalid Maadour, who bears a striking resemblance to Turtle from “Entourage") wins big at a game show that serves as a front for a market-research firm on the lookout for test subjects. Jalil is so adept at agreeing with the majority in survey questions that the firm decides his opinion alone is the only one that matters.
They rig his apartment with cameras and track his every move using the prizes he won (which are, of course, rigged). But the coup de grace is Claire (the beautiful Caroline Dhavernas), the girlfriend they hire to seduce him, move in with him and funnel him products they want to test, all without his knowledge.
The scenes of Jalil being spied on are reminiscent of The Truman Show, though the payoff is quite different. Claire becomes troubled with the idea that she is basically a whore, and when the company wants to use Jalil to get the French president re-elected, she has had enough.
The film takes a wild turn for a final act that targets reality-TV and the conformity of the masses.
Mr. Average works because it knows just how far to push the premise, and tempers its over-the-top setup with sincere characters and a fair amount of rom-com sweetness that any film fan can enjoy.