As long-running local play “Broue” proved, there are much cheap laughs to be had at the expense of drunk people. Caroline Dhavernas, Sylvain Martel and others make the most of this as inebriated clients of the titular service, but the real stars are the volunteers who drive them home, played here by Patrick Huard, Michèle Barbara Pelletier and the irrepressible Pierre Lebeau.
Huard’s character happens to be a critic while Pelletier’s is a writer who was once brutally panned by him. This being a romantic comedy, anyone can guess that no matter how much the two seem to dislike each other, they’ll end up falling in love. We’ve seen this countless times, but if it works for Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (“Nez Rouge” is practically a remake of “You’ve Got Mail”, which itself was a remake of “The Shop Around the Corner”), there’s no reason it can’t work for Huard and Pelletier. They’re both funny and charming, and we do root for them to be together.
Director Érik Canuel fills the movie with pop-up visuals, which worked in his dark and twisted “La Loi du Cochon” but can be distracting in a rom-com context. The film could have also done without the blatant Desjardins product placement and the broader physical gags. Beating up a dog is sooo 1998 – much funnier is the montage of Huard and Pelletier going back home after their first kiss and twirling gleefully while it snows in their apartments. Still, as far as cornball mainstream flicks go, you could do worse than this homegrown holiday concoction.