French-Algerian comedian Kad Merad is offered a more straight-laced role in Rachid Hami’s La Mélodie, a film about a violin teacher who struggles to tame a class of young Parisian misfits. Less School of Rock and more Les Choristes (which also starred Merad), the film offers few surprises, with a lightweight inspirational-teacher narrative and no shortage of formulaic beats. That said, this is competent comfort food cinema, a well-crafted crowd-pleaser elevated by the young rascals’ charming performances and the warm hug of a score by Bruno Coulais. It will doubtlessly go down a treat with end of year crowds and those who need a solid helping of feel-good cheer.
La Mélodie | Directed Rachid Hami (France, 2017), with Kad Merad, Samir Guesmi, Alfred Renely, Tatiana Rojo. Starts December 21.
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