Move over, Emily in Paris, there’s a new French-American culture clash in town.
We apparently can’t get enough of the two nations’ chalk-and-cheese dynamic, as one actor has discovered in spectacular fashion.
Renan Pacheco, 26, has been propelled to overnight TikTok stardom thanks to a series of sketches imagining a Frenchman’s take on life in Los Angeles.
In the clips – of which there are six so far – Pacheco’s alter-ego François shares his musings on everything from tipping to dating, using shameless French stereotypes to poke fun at the US way of doing things.
And for anyone wondering, Pacheco is qualified to offer a Gallic perspective: he was born in Brazil but launched his career in Paris and is represented by a French agent. He now lives in LA.
François went on his first American date! It didn’t go as planned…
Setting the scene, he tells viewers: "I arrive at the restaurant, first of all… her name's Kimberley – oh la la, Kimberley it's not my favourite name but it's fine, she's pretty – so we sit down and we take the menu and she looks me in the eyes and she tells me she doesn't eat gluten.”
Pausing dramatically, he goes on: "You don't eat gluten? But how can you not eat gluten?
"Gluten is my life. Kimberley, gluten is croissant, gluten is baguette, how can you not eat gluten?”
Addressing the viewer again, he continues: "So I'm starting to be confused, I'm not going to lie.” But, deciding to move on, he says he ordered a glass of wine to help him “chill a little bit”.
Then came the next shocking revelation: “She says me [sic] she doesn’t drink alcohol. Oh la la la la la. How can you not drink alcohol in your life, Kimberley?”
He then proclaims: "Alcohol is joy. Le vin! Zeu [sic] wine is zeu joy!”
And with that, he says, he left the restaurant without saying goodbye.
He ends his monologue: "I couldn't stay there, I'm sorry, but I can't have a love relationship with someone who doesn't eat gluten and doesn't drink wine. I'm sorry, Kimberley."
The clip has so far garnered more than 2.2 million likes and 36,000 comments, with fellow TikTokers sharing their glee at the pastiche.
“‘Gluten is….croissant’. That’s my new phrase for every moment of disbelief,” wrote one admirer.
“Every European understands the pain,” commented another.
“We need to [see] ‘Francois in NY’ on Netflix now,” wrote a third.
Meanwhile, others offered solidarity to all the Kimberleys out there.
“Le sigh,” said one. “When chronic illness sabatoges your date. Hugs to the [gluten free] in the US by necessity ladies.”
Food intolerances aside, one thing's for sure: TikTok is hungry for more François.
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