back to top

"Bonjour Timothy" Is The Best Teen Movie You've Never Heard Of

It's from New Zealand in the '90s and it is GOLD.

Posted on

Back story: In the '90s I was obsessed with this movie called Bonjour Timothy, about a New Zealand teen who falls for the French Canadian exchange student his family is hosting.

CINAR

It was before the internet was a thing, and none of my friends had heard of it/wanted to watch it, so I fangirled on my lonesome. Over time, it began to feel like something I had made up.

On a whim I looked it up, and discovered that not only was it very real, the whole damn movie is now on YouTube.

So, naturally, I decided to watch it, live-tweet and post about it, because the internet IS a thing now and never again will anyone have to doubt the existence of Bonjour Timothy.

The opening shot is of a Rugby scrum, placing us firmly in the setting of pre-Middle Earth New Zealand.

CINAR

The whole chasing balls part is where I'd normally start to zone out, but soon this floppy-haired guy falls into the mud, and floppy-haired muddy guys are basically a '90s girl's wet dream.

Floppy-Haired Mud Guy zones out of the game himself when he sees this girl on the sidelines, and then he's basically run over by Mean Guy™.

Somehow this makes him a hero because sports make no sense. This pisses off Mean Guy™ (who is also now muddy), who vows "VENGEANCE WILL BE MIIIINE" with his shady spit.

Floppy-Haired Mud Guy gets clean and is now just Floppy-Haired Guy, a.k.a. the Timothy of the title. He is also strangely familiar.

What a cutie. That dimple. #bonjourtimothy

A quick google reveals he is Dean O'Gorman, who will grow up to be Fíli in The Hobbit/mega babe IRL.

New Line Cinema

Floppy-Haired Timothy is enjoying his questionable victory until Mean Guy™ seizes his chance for revenge, and stuffs him in a locker.

Classic Mean Guy™.
CINAR

Classic Mean Guy™.

Floppy-Haired Timothy is all stressed out until he discovers he's actually in the girl's changing rooms, because he's also kinda Creepy Timothy.

Got stuffed in a locker, lucky it's in the girl's changeroom @Deanogormano #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

Got stuffed in a locker, lucky it's in the girl's changeroom @Deanogormano #bonjourtimothy

8:06 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Unfortunately for Creepy Timothy/fortunately for the girls in the room, he's discovered pretty quickly.

CINAR

And the girls get their own vengeance.

CINAR

Instead of suspending Creepy Timothy, the principal mentions the school needs a volunteer to host a French Canadian exchange student named Michel Dubois.

Nothing smudgy or weird about that "Michel" at all.

Naturally Creepy Timothy's Dad volunteers immediately and comes up with a plan.

"We could fix up the spare room all nice & tickety-boo!"Tickety-boo is not used enough anymore let's bring back tickety-boo #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"We could fix up the spare room all nice & tickety-boo!"Tickety-boo is not used enough anymore let's bring back tickety-boo #bonjourtimothy

8:13 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Creepy Timothy turns into Whiney Timothy, because he has to change his bedroom and also because French Canadians are apparently an alien species.

"I've never even met a French Canadian before! How do I know what to expect?!" #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"I've never even met a French Canadian before! How do I know what to expect?!" #bonjourtimothy

8:16 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Whiney Timothy's long-haired mate tries to comfort him by naming awesome French things, but gets a bit confused.

CINAR

Whiney Timothy begrudgingly goes to pick up Michel at the airport, and SURPRISE!

"It's not Michel, it's Michelle" identity mix up, classic #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"It's not Michel, it's Michelle" identity mix up, classic #bonjourtimothy

8:24 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Cue Thirsty Timothy.

CINAR

Unfortunately for Thirsty Timothy, Michelle-Not-Michel is not happy to be in New Zealand.

Her parents have forced her to travel to another country, POOR THING.

Her parents have forced her to travel to another country, POOR THING.

Thirsty Timothy tries to make her "feel at home" by knocking on her bedroom door in his Noddy pjs and reminding her he's ~just in the next bedroom~.

omg he is wearing a Noddy t-shirt #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

omg he is wearing a Noddy t-shirt #bonjourtimothy

8:34 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Michelle-Not-Michel is not having a bar of it.

*shuts door*

*shuts door*

Thirsty Timothy goes star-gazing on his own instead, because apparently there's more to him than his thirst. Just.

CINAR

To be fair, basically every guy turns into a drooling animal around Michelle-Not-Michel.

"This is one spunky babe!" lol 90s #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"This is one spunky babe!" lol 90s #bonjourtimothy

8:41 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"That face, how could you describe it? Sort of... Julia Roberts meets Winona Ryder... meets God" lol 90s #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"That face, how could you describe it? Sort of... Julia Roberts meets Winona Ryder... meets God" lol 90s #bonjourtimothy

8:42 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

But then the girls get their chance to drool, too.

~fashion~

Basically this is the 1 scene I remember from this film.Really made an impression on my 10yr old mind #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

Basically this is the 1 scene I remember from this film.Really made an impression on my 10yr old mind #bonjourtimothy

8:49 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Meanwhile, Michelle-Not-Michel finds out about Thirsty Timothy's creepy past and she checks her room for peepholes and then tells him to bugger off.

I think all of my friends had that bedspread #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

I think all of my friends had that bedspread #bonjourtimothy

8:44 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Thirsty Timothy responds in a NOT CREEPY AT ALL way by snooping in her room when she's not around.

Suns were really a thing in the 90s hey #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

Suns were really a thing in the 90s hey #bonjourtimothy

8:50 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Michelle-Not-Michel is understandably outraged, and slams the door in Creepy/Thirsty Timothy's face for about the 10th time.

Creepy/Thirsty Timothy responds to THIS by piecing together AND TRANSLATING a letter Michelle-Not-Michel wrote, that he found in the trash.

Really, dude?
CINAR

Really, dude?

He decides that the fact Michelle-Not-Michel is pining for her French Canadian ex-boyfriend means he's in with the chance.

CINAR

Makes sense.

Unfortunately for Creepy/Thirsty Timothy, Mean Guy™ has already swooped in - although Michelle-Not-Michel is not exactly impressed with him.

CINAR
CINAR

Thirsty Timothy decides if he was more ~French~, Michelle-Not-Michel would be into him.

"Hasn't anyone seen a baguette before?!" @Deanogormano #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"Hasn't anyone seen a baguette before?!" @Deanogormano #bonjourtimothy

9:05 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Which, basically.

Michelle-Not-Michelle tells him to "be himself" because lol:

CINAR

Cue Ranty Timothy.

Poor Timothy. ALL THOSE ZITS on that perfectly clear face.
CINAR

Poor Timothy. ALL THOSE ZITS on that perfectly clear face.

All of a sudden we're thrown into Michelle-Not-Michel's P.O.V. via a ~video~ she's going to send to her parents.

"Here we have the traditional NZ breakfast along with the traditional NZ idiot" #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"Here we have the traditional NZ breakfast along with the traditional NZ idiot" #bonjourtimothy

9:15 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

It's full of #truthbombs.

"She says there's no better place in the world to be young and female than New Zealand" #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"She says there's no better place in the world to be young and female than New Zealand" #bonjourtimothy

9:18 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And lolz.

"I'm on my way to becoming a full-fledged KIWI girl,ready for my next fix on Weet-Bix,Marmite & RUGBY"#bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"I'm on my way to becoming a full-fledged KIWI girl,ready for my next fix on Weet-Bix,Marmite & RUGBY"#bonjourtimothy

9:20 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Then some sportsball stuff happens which turns Timothy ("just being himself") into Michelle-Not-Michel's hero.

CINAR

And Creepy Timothy kind of runs with it.

"She's a woman. She needs a man." oh dear #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"She's a woman. She needs a man." oh dear #bonjourtimothy

9:25 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Unfortunately for Creepy Timothy ONCE AGAIN, Mean Guy™ has already asked Michelle-Not-Michel to the big party. Creepy Timothy responds by outfit shaming her and then hiding outside of the party to spy.

CINAR
CINAR

Creepy Timothy living up to his name.

But it comes in handy when Mean Guy™ takes Michelle-Not-Michel parking and dumps her when she won't put out.

"The famous One Tree HIll?! The one in the U2 song?!" #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

"The famous One Tree HIll?! The one in the U2 song?!" #bonjourtimothy

9:39 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"I'm protecting you!'

~just casually hanging out on the ground, didn't fall over at all~ #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

~just casually hanging out on the ground, didn't fall over at all~ #bonjourtimothy

9:41 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Creepy Timothy reaches peak Creep when he puts drunk Michelle-Not-Michel to bed after taking off her vomit-covered dress, and touches the tattoo on her butt.

He proceeds to tell his long-haired mate about the tatt, who tells his crush, who tells someone else, who tells everyone, and, well...

My goal in life is to be in a situation where I get to vengefully pour drink on them #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

My goal in life is to be in a situation where I get to vengefully pour drink on them #bonjourtimothy

9:59 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Everyone makes fun of Michelle-Not-Michel, because apparently tattoos were controversial in the '90s?

The major plot point is that she's being made fun of for having a tattoo on her butt. OK. #bonjourtimothy

Jenna Guillaume@JennaGuillaumeFollow

The major plot point is that she's being made fun of for having a tattoo on her butt. OK. #bonjourtimothy

10:02 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Poor Michelle-Not-Michel then has to endure a whole weekend in the country with just Creepy Timothy and his family.

CINAR

FORTUNATELY for Creepy Timothy, he and Michelle-Not-Michel bond over star-gazing which is actually pretty romantic tbh.

CINAR
CINAR

THEY KISS.

CINAR

And in that moment, all past creepiness is forgiven.

Or so says my inner 10-year-old with the FEELS.

They continue kissing until Michelle-Not-Michel has to go back to Canada.

CINAR

This is in front of all of Timothy's friends and family, btw.

Timothy is now just sad.

UNTIL he has the genius idea to go on exchange himself, to CANADA natch.

CINAR

And that is Bonjour Timothy, basically. Now you don't even have to watch it. Unless you want to. Which OF COURSE YOU DO.