Movie review of “Samba”: This breezy tale centers on a Senegalese immigrant (Omar Sy) and his caseworker (Charlotte Gainsbourg).

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Directed by the team behind the hit French odd-couple comedy “The Intouchables,” the breezy “Samba” centers on a Senegalese immigrant (Omar Sy) and his caseworker (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Hovering between the insider and outsider perspectives the two characters represent, filmmakers Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache deliver a mostly buoyant take on the immigration travails that preoccupy France today (and more and more of its movies).

Sy’s tenacious but somewhat opaque Samba plays out the absurdities of hardworking residents who don’t have the right papers. And in Gainsbourg’s clueless Alice, a corporate drone taking a stress-related sabbatical by working at an immigration center, Toledano and Nakache provide an entry point for viewers who sympathize with the plight of migrants, or harbor crushes on them.

That might sound like a glib evaluation, but the filmmakers are shameless in leavening Samba’s woes with blushing scenes between him and Alice, who seems instantly mesmerized. Around them buzzes a small circle of side characters — Samba’s boisterous friend (Tahar Rahim) and the kibitzing staff members at the immigration center, who seem to be descended from a 1930s Hollywood comedy set in New York.

Movie Review

‘Samba,’ with Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim. Directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. 118 minutes. Rated R for language. In French, with English subtitles. Seven Gables.

The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.

Toledano and Nakache, who wrote the scattered screenplay, have a well-honed touch for comic beats and a feel for workaday details. That comes in handy when their points about French identity miss the mark, or when the main characters share special moments without really acquiring depth.