Release Date: June 29, 2001
Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Gerard
Depardieu, Michele Laroque,
Jean Rochefort, Michel Aumont,
Thierry Lhermitte, Alexandra
Vandernoot, & Stanislas
Runtime: 86 minutes
Distributor: Miramax Zoe/Miramax
Director: Francis Veber
Producer: Alain Poiré
Writer: Francis Veber
Address Comments To:Bob & Harvey Weinstein
8439 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (323) 822-4100
The story of THE CLOSET is easily adaptable to any modern culture, even though it takes place in France. It focuses on a very shy accountant named Francois, who works for a large rubber company. Of course, the biggest selling item in the company is condoms. Because Francois is exceedingly boring, his beloved wife has left him, his 17-year-old son avoids him, and, he learns accidentally, his boss plans to fire him.
Desperate to keep his job, and nearly suicidal, Francois encounters his new homosexual neighbor, a retired corporate psychologist. With Francois’ agreement, they decide to start a rumor that Francois is homosexual. This changes the company’s decision to fire him. After all, it would be bad for business if a condom manufacturer fired an employee who’s just come out of the closet.
The neighbor advises Francois not to change a thing, but to remain the same quiet man he has always been. All this leads to unintended consequences as Francois comes to find that perception is everything. Suddenly, everybody finds him much more interesting, including one of his female co-workers who is skeptical about his sexual conversion.
The first part of THE CLOSET contains plenty of jokes about how the company, and one particular employee, bends over backwards not to offend its new token homosexual. Later, however, the movie backs away from this long-overdue satire of homosexual political correctness. It instead becomes a comical attack on the macho games of humiliation that men often engage in at school, work and the military. Ultimately, it comes back to uphold the very political correctness that it started to criticize. Thus, by claiming to be homosexual, Francois learns how to be a more well-rounded, more relaxed human being. He even manages to smoke a little marijuana with his son, although he still tells his son to stop doing it afterwards.
THE CLOSET also contains a scene of depicted fornication, brief nudity and some foul language. It also mocks one character who makes comments against the masculinity of people with homosexual “tendencies.” This results in an unbelievable, contrived humiliation of this character.
THE CLOSET comes close to bursting the politically correct attitude of today’s “homosexual movement.” Regrettably, however, the movie’s comedy ultimately becomes mired in the dung heap created by today’s politically correct sensibilities. Still, THE CLOSET occasionally manages to poke a few holes in the self-righteous pomposity of some forms of political correctness and in some of the cliches and stereotypes about and among homosexuals. The first part of THE CLOSET contains plenty of jokes about how the company bends over backwards not to offend its new token homosexual, but the movie backs away from this long-overdue satire and contains a strong sex scene.