I had vague expectations going into Micmacs at this year's SXSW Film Festival. I hadn't so much as watched a trailer, people at Butt-Numb-a-Thon loved it (where they tend to love everything), and the synopsis made it sound like more of the same from Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. About fifteen minutes in, however, I realized: A) It was more of the same, and B) There was nothing wrong with that.

This tale of Parisian misfits banding together to take down a pair of arms dealers was as close to a whimsical riff on The Sting or Ocean's Eleven as one ever might have hoped for from the filmmaker, and I'm happy to see it rolling out Stateside starting next Friday in New York and Los Angeles. We've embedded the trailer below, which is an accurate (if overwhelming) taste of what fun's in store.

A thing about that R rating, though: part of the film's immense charm is in its elaborate slapstick and sense of invention. In fact, I struggle to think of the "sexuality" that would earn something so lightweight such a restrictive rating. So I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend this to parents who are willing to let their kids see a bit (literally, a snippet) of hanky-panky, or who will just as soon cover their eyes for maybe thirty seconds, because even if they can't read the subtitles, they can certainly get into the mischief that Jeunet's ensemble stirs up here (which I might not have necessarily said about Amelie).