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Reviews & Ratings for
The Closet More at IMDbPro »Le placard (original title)

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41 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

A Great, Funny Feel-Good Movie

9/10
Author: BriGuy7783 from Massachusetts
11 November 2004

Anyone who dismisses foreign films as too abstract or intellectual should see this one; it functions no differently than any American comedy. (By American comedy, I'm speaking of movies like the better Coen Brothers or Woody Allen comedies and not mass-produced garbage like "White Chicks".) Many times I completely forgot it was in French and that I was reading subtitles.

Daniel Auteuil is great in this charming film. His sad-sack loser is reminiscent of William H. Macy's most famous roles, or perhaps Jack Lemmon in "The Apartment".

Everything goes wrong for François Mignon. Neither his wife, who left him two years before, nor his teenage son will have anything to do with him. He is ignored at work, and finds out through the grapevine that he has been fired.

His next-door neighbor talks him out of suicide and comes up with a plan to save his job: if Mignon pretends to be gay, the company will not want to look homophobic by firing him.

This plan works perfectly, and Mignon is thrown into a number of increasingly ridiculous situations, now that he is reputed to be gay.

The film wraps up quickly and ties together almost too neatly, but the ending fits the fast paced comic style of everything before it. Overall, this is an entertaining and heartwarming film.

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34 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

a touching astute film masquerading as a farce

10/10
Author: William Tyson (wtyson1@carolina.rr.com) from North Carolina
10 June 2003

This is a delightful character study and social commentary masquerading as a broad farce. It is very, very funny. They avoid cheap "queer" jokes and cheap "homophobe" jokes even as they bluntly portray attitudes about homosexuals. Even though they use very real language to illustrate the attitudes. There is some great acting throughout. Each of the characters is a study in itself. The homophobic character (Depardieu) emerges as intriguing and sympathetic, where it could have been two dimensional. The relationship between Auteil and Aumont almost brought me to tears. The transformation of the lead character is believable, despite the improbable context that the film creates. The final scene with his ex-wife is powerful. Others have pointed out that the lead character never changes, the perceptions of others change. This makes his actual transformation that much more effective. This movie is a real find.

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28 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Anything can happen in a condom factory!

Author: Matthew Ignoffo (mermatt@webtv.net) from Eatontown, NJ, USA
30 September 2001

This amiable and amusing film is delightful as it plays around with political correctness, homophobia, machismo, and business management.

The dull-witted and just plain dull main character keeps his job by pretending to be gay -- at the suggestion of a neighbor who is an industrial psychologist that once lost his own job BECAUSE he is gay. With that premise, the film is off to a wonderful series of misunderstandings and revelations as our hero discovers a great deal about life, people around him, and most of all, himself. The fact that all of this takes place is a very prim, high-tech condom factory makes the comedy all the more lively.

I wasn't expecting the lift that the film gave me. It has a flimsy giddiness about it lacking in most comedies about being gay or straight or anything else. See it if you get a chance.

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24 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

An excellent way to spend a couple of hours

8/10
Author: Imnozy from Sydney, Australia
20 July 2004

Faced with a choice of American "look-alike" movies, I watched this little gem on the basis of the cast alone. What an excellent choice!

This is a brilliantly funny movie, with some unforgettable moments - particularly the "testing department" sequence in the condom factory. The story is amusing, the cast are perfect, particularly Gerard Depardieu's hilarious, touching, crazy mixed up macho/gay guy. The premise, that in order to keep his job a colourless little accountant has to pretend that he is gay (a very tongue in cheek comment on prejudice here) - the can of worms that he opens up has many aspects, both good and bad. And they gave us a happy ending - what more can one ask for? Recommended.

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22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Take a look in "The Closet".....

Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH
22 December 2003

Anti-discrimination laws are given a tweaking in this light, amusing French comedy. Auteuil plays an unassuming, rather colorless, 20-year employee of a condom factory. When, one day, he is told that he will be let go due to corporate downsizing, he is suicidally despondent. However, a caring neighbor (Aumont) devises a scheme that will possibly save Auteuil's job. He decides to "out" Auteuil as gay so that the dismissal will look like discrimination, thus panicking the company into keeping him on staff. This act sets into motion a number of comical complications, much of which involve the company macho man/bully (Depardieu) and Auteuil's boss Laroque. The film is pretty superficial and doesn't really delve into all the ramifications of it's storyline situation, but it does provide some easy laughs and some strong performances throughout. Auteuil is properly average, yet eventually ingratiating. Depardieu shows why he's one of France's top actors with a right-on, finely nuanced portrayal. His is probably one of the most complicated characters in the film and he handles it well. Laroque is an attractive and solid presence as well. Aside from a host of good actors, the film also boasts a gorgeous production design. All of the costumes, sets and color schemes come together to create a distinctive and pleasing look. The plot is almost paper thin and characters don't often act as real people would, but this is a farce and, as such, it delivers some amusement and interest. One disconcerting thing is the level of cruelty in some cases. One character is savagely beaten and another has his life virtually destroyed all in the name of "fun". This could be due to a different perspective between a U.S. viewpoint and a French one. It tarnishes the goodwill and fun of the film, but only slightly. Mostly, it is a pretty and frothy concoction (complete with one of the most adorable kittens ever seen on screen) that shouldn't offend or upset any of it's target audience.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

witty and funny

8/10
Author: silvia_plath from mua, tua
10 July 2001

i had no idea what to expect from this film when my friend dragged me to see it, saying that it had been a huge success in france when she was living there. it started out well enough but i thought it was just going to be about how "funny" it is that this guy who isnt gay pretends he is....

however, the film is self- referential enough that it turns on itself and makes fun of all the prejudices and hangups that we all carry around with us. it is a funny, unpretentious film and for that, well worth seeing. the main actor is excellent.

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of France's Classics

10/10
Author: Sjaff from United States
8 July 2001

This film is so funny that it will probably be purchased by an American film company for a remake. The company will pay not attention to the brilliance of the actors who made it such a hit and will replace the entire film and the primarly stars with our "American" stars, thus reducing this incredible piece of work to an average comedy. Please tell me I'm wrong.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Delightful French Farce

9/10
Author: harry-76 from Cleveland, Ohio USA
5 August 2001

Frances Verber has a sharp eye and ear in capturing contemporary French attitudes and lingo for his charming screenplay, "Le Placard." Further, he's gone on to direct this comedy of mores with great aplomb.

The cast he's garnered, headed by Daniel Auteuil, is a joy to watch, each member displaying nice comic timing, and making this lightweight romp a treat. When one has the good fortune to see this film in a full theatre with a sophisticated audience, one can enjoy a fun event that really takes off.

A toast to you, M. Verber, and all of your jolly cast and crew of "Le Placard."

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Great comedy! Its parts fit together like a Chinese wood block puzzle

Author: Bob Pr. from Topeka, KS
8 October 2001

English: "The Closet"

This reminded me in some ways of M. Hulot (Le Vacance de M. Hulot, the greatest comedy I've ever seen), in others of some of the best of the Alec Guiness comedies. Not for style but for quality. It's at their level.

There were fine performances by all the main characters but I was fascinated by the unfolding of the plot. All the pieces fit together so intricately and well and so few liberties were taken of normal human reactions -- almost everything was within comfortable bonds of believability. Well, there were a couple of minor stretches -- the catalyzing role of a sexual encounter in finally transforming M. Pignon's personality was one, but wouldn't that be quaintly Gallic? And the transformation of his son was another, but then -- teenagers can sometimes be unpredictable, can't they? And it had only one broad sterotype, Mr. Santini (Gerard Depardieu). I left the theater amazed at how well the various facets of the plot fit so well together that it reminded me then of a Chinese wood block puzzle; now, a week later, that still seems most fitting.

This is _not_ a movie about being gay; that's only the gas that fuels the car that takes the people on that trip. It _is_ an observant, droll film about office politics and the way people's views of others can be distorted by labels. I'm sure -- within a few years -- this will be considered a classic and deservedly so.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A breath of fresh air

Author: Nicholas Rhodes from Ile-de-France / Paris Region, France
28 January 2001

This film was recently released in Paris and involved a substantial number of French comedians - Auteuil, Rochefort, Laroque, Derpardieu Lhermitte, Aumont et alia. The acting of Auteil, Depardieu and Rocherfort above all is very amusing and good. I found Thierry Lhermitte's role in this film of less "importance" than in others, e.g. Le Diner de Cons and " Le Père Noël es une Ordure". The situation (probleme of homosexuality being or not being used as a way of firing or not firing someone )relates very much to today and the average spectator will be able to relate to the scenes of the film especially if he or she works in an office. I found the film most amusing, much better than 'Diner de Cons' (which had a bitter side to it). I think this film should better stand the test of time like some of Veber's previous servings ( La Chèvre, Compères Fugitifs ). The other thing is that is is not typically French and should be able to have a truly international appeal. Veber has this gift, I think of being able to be creative outside the French "carcan" and many of his works are remade internationally. Well worth seeing, wherever you come from and especially of you are feeling down in th mouth !!!!!

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