Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Closet (2000) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Single joke movies have to be itchily funny to sustain 84 minutes. This one isn't.
Daniel Auteuil plays one of life's casualties. That's casting against type. He is the most popular actor in France, renowned for his charm. How could he be the office bore, for heaven's sake?
Anyway, he is and instead of promotion, he's for the chop. He hears about it on the grapevine and is whinging to his new neighbour, who comes up with a cunning plan. They doctor photographs taken in a gay bar and slip them under a director's door. The result is amazement, incredulity, respect and fear. How could they sack a homosexual, especially from a condom factory, without being accused of homophobia?
Auteuil becomes interesting all of a sudden. Even the secretaries look at him differently. Only the in-house reactionary (Gerard Depardieu) finds it unacceptable.
The humour is based on a simple premise - straight man has to behave gay to save his job. Auteuil is fumbly, not exactly accident prone, but decidedly disorientated by the role. Depardieu is hardly there. He stresses out and takes up residence at the loony bin.
There isn't enough meat on this particular bone. Auteuil can do comedy as well as he can do anything and this is not as easy as it sounds, because he has to be essentially dull, revitalised by a change of sexual orientation, faking a camp facade, while fancying the girls. No wonder he looks as if he's swimming with his clothes on.Reviewed on: 15 May 2002
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