The Closet
Isn't he sweet? Francois comes out of a closet he never went into (Auteuil, Laroche and Depardieu).
Le Placard
dir-scr Francis Veber
with Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu, Thierry Lhermitte, Michele Laroque, Michel Aumont, Jean Rochfort, Alexandra Vandernoot, Stanislas Crevillen, Armelle Deutsch, Edgar Givry. Thierry Ashanti, Michele Garcia
release UK 17.May.02
Gaumont 01/France 1h24

2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
France's most successful comedy filmmaker Veber (La Cage aux Folles, The Dinner Game) is back with another winning little bit of silly fluff. Francois (Auteuil) is an anonymous accountant in a big company who finds out he's about to get the sack. His new neighbour (Aumont) suggests he drop the hint that he might actually be gay, so the company is afraid to fire him. He goes along with it--he's already lost his wife and 17-year-old son (Vandernoot and Crevillen) as well as the respect of his colleagues (Laroque and Deutsch)--so what does he have to lose? Then the company personnel director (Depardieu) realises he needs to rethink his bigoted ways and start being nice to Francois.

The story is simplistic, the themes are never delved into terribly deeply, the characters are all fairly stock sitcom figures, and the filmmaking style is bland and sunny. But the humour and situations work due to the above-average cast ... especially Auteuil, who is so good at playing a man trying to act like everything is normal, and Depardieu, as the guy trying to act like he has changed. And it's quite funny as everyone's boring day-to-day life is injected with the rumour of something terribly interesting, giving everyone's life a jolt. There are some subtle examinations about perception and acceptance, but this is not a message film. And to be honest, it feels like a movie made about 20 years behind the times. But it's enjoyable enough to keep us smiling and laughing.
adult themes and situations cert 15 23.Jan.02

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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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