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I have heard the following sentence in the TV series Marseile:

  • Allez, les Guiris, allez me la faire.

Context: a drug dealer orders two of his men to steal a Mercedes parked in the other side of the street.

What does "aller me la faire" mean here? The English subtitle translates "allez me la faire" as "go start her up". Is "faire" indeed a synonym of "démarrer", i.e. to start (a car) ? What does the pronoun "me" mean here?

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In familiar French or in argot, se faire someone or something means to do something to them or with them for your pleasure or for your benefit. What the "something" is should then be understood from the context.

Ex:

On va se faire un cinéma (ie, we are going to the movies)

ça te dirait de se faire un Italien ? (ie, what about going to an Italian restaurant ?)

Je me suis fait une fille hier (ie, I had sex with a girl yesterday)

Il m'énerve, je vais me le faire ! (ie, I can't stand him, I am about to yell at him/to beat him up/to give him some kind of punishment - depends on the context)

La bande avait décidé de se faire un policier (ie, the gang had decided to attack a policeman)

In the context you describe, my understanding is that the drug dealer orders his men to either break into the car or to steal it. Without knowing they then decided to get into the car and steal it, it could also have been an order to vandalize the car - again, the context determines what the drug dealer meant.

He could have said:

allez vous la faire

The use of me instead of the reflexive vous just stresses that this order is for his own will, his own pleasure or his own benefit.

(... and the English subtitles totally missed the point, IMHO.)

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  • Thanks for the answer! So "me" is an example of dative of interest, also often used in Spanish. Interested readers may check spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/26171/…). I had never seen it in French before. I assume that "la" in "allez me la faire" refers to "la voiture" ? Mar 21, 2020 at 8:43
  • Yes, right on spot !
    – Greg
    Mar 21, 2020 at 9:01
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    Note that what is special here is the familiar phrase "se faire", which I guess can be ambiguous for non-natives. The dative of interest is very common in French and can be used with many transitive verbs, esp. with orders, and not limited to "se faire": ex: "range-moi ta chambre !" "goûte-moi ce vin !", "regarde-moi ça !"
    – Greg
    Mar 21, 2020 at 9:42
  • One more meaning: in the context of "gang talk", se faire une voiture can also mean "to vandalize a car".
    – Greg
    Mar 21, 2020 at 9:46
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The answer above is quite right, still there is one more thing to say about "me la faire":

Literally, this means "do this to me" or "do this to myself", the former meaning the one who does the thing to "me" is someone else, and the latter meaning the one who does the thing is "myself".

In the former variation, there is a familiar expression saying "faut plus me la faire!": That means "Don't try to have me anymore". The correct form should be "il ne faut plus", but in the familiar form,we often skip "il ne". It has even been the theme and title of a quite successful song by Valérie Lagrange in 1979. Besides, that song has a wonderful little guitar solo right in the middle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbQIjdBavAg

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