By Alain Hertoghe
Two events this spring, with no apparent link, took the French establishment by surprise. "Brice de Nice" (Brice from Nice), a silly comedy about a post-adolescent trying to surf the flat Mediterranean, was a runaway hit, selling more than two million tickets in the first two weeks. Around the same time, opinion polls showed that French voters soured on the European Constitution, with the nons regularly outnumbering the ouis.
A happy coincidence, this popularity of Brice and the unpopularity of the Constitution, that no French pundit or politician seems to have remarked on. And yet the blockbuster provides a wonderful metaphor for French attitudes about an enlarged EU, the rise of China and India, the globalized economy, not to mention terrorism and the spread of WMDs, that hegemon America, and much else.