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Dry Cleaning (1997)
"Nettoyage à sec" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  29 January 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 820 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 17 critic

A bored couple takes in a young man who turns their lives inside out


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Title: Dry Cleaning (1997)

Dry Cleaning (1997) on IMDb 6.9/10

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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicole Kunstler
Jean-Marie Kunstler
Stanislas Merhar ...
Nanou Meister ...
Noé Pflieger ...
Michel Bompoil ...
Christopher King ...
Gérard Blanc ...
Betty Petristy ...
Madame Bertrand
Bobby Pacha ...
Patron du Ranch
Corinne Nejman ...
Thérèse Gehin ...
Joëlle Grégorie ...
Travestie aux bananes
Pascal Allio ...


Nicole and Jean-Marie Kunstler are a nice, hard working couple who have been married for 15 years. They operate a dry cleaning business that keeps them both too busy to take a vacation, or to change their routine. A fateful trip to a drag club leads them to encounter Loic and Marilyn, a brother-sister drag queen performing team. Their shows fascinate the couple, as both Nicole and Jean-Marie find themselves growing more and more attached to Loic. Loic brings to the surface all of their suppressed desires and emotions - willingly and unwillingly. A psychological examination into the effects one attractive young man's entrance into the lives of an ordinarily seeming couple could have. Written by Tracy <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

29 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dry Cleaning  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,919 (USA) (5 February 1999)


$142,363 (USA) (5 November 1999)

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


Written by Jacques Mercier and Philippe Lhommet
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User Reviews

An almost great French Romance
18 July 2001 | by (NYC/FL) – See all my reviews

To me, a romantically inclined gay man, this was a fascinating but ultimately unfulfilling tale of a `normal' French couple, Nicole and Jean-Marie Kunstler, who have grown unsatisfied with their settled, routine lives. The couple runs a dry cleaning business in an unexciting small French town. Their lives change when they go to a bar with some business associates and encounter Loïc and Marylin, a cross dressing brother/sister act. From the first, the couple is fascinated with the pair but particularly with Loïc, the sexually ambiguous brother, (played to perfection by Stanislas Merhar).

The couple is so enchanted with the pair that they take a weekend to the city where the performers are appearing next. When the sister decides to end the act and run away with her lover, the brother insinuates himself into the couples lives. The young man claims to be, and is by all indications, straight and soon takes the wife as a lover. The husband is also aroused by the boy but denies his attraction. Soon the boy is living in the couple's home and working in the Dry Cleaning shop and is showing a talent for that type of work. He even befriends the couple's child and helps him with homework and takes him skating.

Whether his good work arises from Loïc's desire to repay Jean-Marie or from some innate talent for dry cleaning is unclear. I think that Loïc feels guilty about cuckolding this man who has shown him nothing but kindness, genuinely likes the guy, and is aware of the man's attraction to him. He wants to make amends in any way that he can. Ultimately Loïc offers himself to Jean-Marie physically but is rebuffed.

Whether it's the husband's `homosexual panic' or his actually seeing his wife with Loïc during one of their trysts, Jean-Marie decides that Loïc must go. This leads to the final and I think dissatisfying concluding scenes.

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