Uncharted Cinema #2: The Closet


Francis Veber, France, 2001, 84 min.

Read about the Uncharted Cinema Project here.

Before: I haven’t heard of this one! A french comedy staring Gérard Depardieu? You can’t go wrong with that. And the plot sounds like fun. Also, with a film this short it should move quickly.

After: A boring and bland every-man accountant, played well by Daniel Auteuil, loses his job in a big firm. The reason? Well, he’s just so unremarkable and they need to let go of someone so he is chosen.

After some fortuitous circumstances involving his neighbor (played well by Michel Aumont) he decides to get his job back by pretending to be gay. You see, the number one product in the company is condoms. And they don’t want to be known as a company that fired their only openly gay employee.

So they rehire him. He attempts to act as normal as possible and let his coworkers believe what they believe. It’s funny how their opinions of him change, even though he doesn’t act any differently.

Complicating matters is the extremely homophobic fellow employee played by Gérard Depardieu. He had it out for Auteuil since before he was fired, and now he has to play nice and tow the company line.

The film has some funny moments as things get more and more complicated for our hero after he “comes out”. Depardieu is especially funny. But I’m not sure if this film is progressive or offensive. It depends what the climate around homosexuality was like in France in 2001. It feels very dated now.

Whatever your views on the subject, the film is amusing but never really goes anywhere. No one learns or grows, and the film inexplicably ends without wrapping anything up. It’s very jarring and left me a bit cold.

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