Written and Directed by Francis Veber
Starring Daniel Auteuil, Michèle Laroque, Gérard Depardieu, Michel Aumont
Accounting is boring. Accounting in France is boring. Even accounting in a French condom factory is boring. It's so boring that one day, Francois Pignon's (Auteuil's) boss finally notices that dull Pignon puts every one to sleep. He must be fired in order to maintain production of this critical French nècessitè. With no hobbies, a hostile ex-wife, and a son who would rather have a root canal than lunch with daddy, he considers taking one big dive until his new neighbor (Michael Aumont) points out that suicide would ruin his old but faithful Citroen. And, as an ex-industrial psychologist, perhaps he can find a way to return Pignon to the ranks of employment. If only Pignon were gay! Then he would be so much more interesting! How could a French condomenètier not keep a gay employee? After all, who else would you put in a condom bonnet and float down the Champs Elsysee on Gay Pride Day? Santini (Depardieu), the homophobic rugby coach? I think not! Mme. Bertrand (Laroque), the hot divorcee? Unthinkable! One of the three real gay execs? Jamias! They have their privacy, no? And so sad Pignon becomes happy Pignon - the toast of Protex Condoms, adored by his son and despised by his ex and propositioned by a contrite Santini. He even shares a drop dead cute alley cat with his neighbor. Le Fini Heureuse.
Did I mention the kitty cat? All the hot babes at the next table about died for it. Never work with animals or children, so they recommend, and it upstaged Auteuil every time it was on camera. This isn't Auteuil's strongest role of late, being a bit more lost and worried and Jerry Lewised than he might be. It IS Depardieu's best work (no small feat) as the gay basher brought to his knees by fear of losing his job and his masculinity, eventually buying Pignon a pink cashmere sweater and a box of chocolates and offering to move in to cheer him up. Very touching for a guy with a cauliflower nose. The Closet is a lighthearted romantic comedy for the more liberal minded, very French and very silly in spots, very touching in others, and never as sappy as it could have been in the hands of Spielberg or Robin Williams, God forbid. It's why you go to subtitled movies, and its why you'll go right out and get one of those spiffy gray bent eared alley kitties. Allez! Vous! Maintenant!
Carl F. Gauze