So I never cared at all about speed typing. I have typed on a typewriter for fun a couple of times and I appreciate the semi-hipster use of typewriters in modern day by some authors. But nothing like that vague appreciation prepared me to discover that speed typing used to be the sexiest sport around. Well, at least according to Populaire, a French film starring Romain Duris, Deborah Francois, and Berenice Bejo. The movie is about Rose Pamphyle, a girl whose ambition is to be a secretary so that she can lift herself out of the provincial life she is tired of. Her father owns a shop and sells, among other things, typewriters. Rose sneaks down at night and carefully and quietly practices on the one in the window. The movie is set in 1958 when learning how to type was the way a woman could get a job and become independent, and Rose has the attractive quality of getting what she sets her mind to.
She interviews for a job with attractive businessman Louis Echard and impresses him with her ability to type ridiculously fast. He gives her the job and tells her she can keep it (she’s a pretty terrible secretary) only if she enters speed typing competitions and allows him to train her. From there on its a hilarious, cute, sexy, dramatic, exciting, and genuinely wonderful movie. I suggest it wholeheartedly for these reasons: It is on Netflix and thus is easy to watch, it is in French but is extremely easy to follow so you can feel both cultured and not-confused, and it’s insanely enjoyable.