6.9/10
981
14 user 19 critic

Dry Cleaning (1997)

Nettoyage à sec (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Drama | 29 January 1999 (USA)
A bored couple takes in a young man who turns their lives inside out

Director:

Anne Fontaine
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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miou-Miou ... Nicole Kunstler (as Miou Miou)
Charles Berling ... Jean-Marie Kunstler
Stanislas Merhar ... Loïc
Mathilde Seigner ... Marylin
Nanou Meister Nanou Meister ... Yvette
Noé Pflieger Noé Pflieger ... Pierre
Michel Bompoil Michel Bompoil ... Robert
Christopher King Christopher King ... Steve
Gérard Blanc Gérard Blanc ... Bertrand
Betty Petristy Betty Petristy ... Madame Bertrand
Bobby Pacha Bobby Pacha ... Le patron Ranch
Corinne Nejman Corinne Nejman ... Josiane
Thérèse Gehin Thérèse Gehin ... Maryse
Joëlle Grégorie Joëlle Grégorie ... Travesti Banane
Pascal Allio Pascal Allio ... Les danseurs
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Storyline

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 <tjc217@is2.nyu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Spain

Language:

French | English | Russian

Release Date:

29 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dry Cleaning See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,919, 7 February 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$142,363, 7 November 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Viva la vida
Written by Michel Fugain
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User Reviews

 
An almost great French Romance
18 July 2001 | by Havan_IronOakSee 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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