The title of this French comedy alone is enough to tell you that this is a rubbish, 20-years-too-late cash-in aimed at the more undiscerning of gay viewers.

What's French for 'eejit'? Cos that's what I am for being put off by something as small as a title; turns out, this is a little gem of entertainment. Yes, there are noisy ghosts of the homosexual variety, but they're involved in a seriously smart comedy that isn't afraid to do emotional too.

Copy picture

The film begins in the Seventies at an underground gay disco in the Paris suburbs. Men are dancing, with not a care in the world – soon they're in the next world, thanks to a faulty foam machine.

Thirty years later young couple, Marc and Emma, move into the old house that hosted the disco, not knowing of its tragic past. Soon Marc is hearing the strains of Boney M and being spied on by spooks less interested in rattling candlesticks than slapping his tight little arse and ogling his frankly magnificent chest. Emma can't hear or see a thing and their relationship suffers as Marc apparently acts more and more oddly.

Eventually, Emma moves out and Marc gets to know the funky phantoms, five basically nice nuisances. The rest of the story is concerned with the mystery of why they're trapped in the house rather than at a circuit party in the next world, Marc's experiments with his sexuality, his attempts to win Emma back and more. The explanations as to why certain people can see and hear the ghosts and others can't is neat, while the resolution to the two main storylines is funny, clever and sweet.

And that's this film all over. The cleverness kicks in with the opening credits, which sweep across the screen playing peekaboo, and continues with a never less than entertaining script. The performances are spot on – the ghosts are camp but never over the top, while Clovis Cornillac is excellent as Marc, sketching out his various moods, from heartbroken to farcical. Julie Depardieu has less to do as Emma, being mainly a plot device for Marc's journey, but she's good when she's thrown a bone.

Non-French speakers may occasionally struggle to keep up with the subtitles whizzing on and off screen – our Gallic friends speak 19 to the douzaine – but you'll get enough that you won't be rewinding every two minutes. Just go with the film and enjoy one of the best comedies around – before Hollywood remakes it with Robin Williams.

Oh Lord, I've now put the idea out there... watch it come back to haunt me.

Reviewed on: 30 Nov 2007
Share this with others on...
Poltergay packshot
They're here . . . and they're queer. The ghosts of Disco Past cause trouble for a young couple.
Amazon link

Director: Eric Lavaine

Writer: Hector Cabello Reyes, Eric Lavaine

Starring: Clovis Cornillac, Julie Depardieu, Lionel Abelanski, Jean-Michel Lahmi, Michel Duchaussoy

Year: 2006

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: France


Search database:

If you like this, try:

In And Out