Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Le Placard
France, 2001. Gaumont, EFVE, TF1 Films Production, Canal+. Screenplay and dialogue by Francis Veber. Cinematography by Luciano Tovoli. Produced by Patrice Ledoux. Music by Vladimir Cosma. Production Design by Hugues Tissandier. Costume Design by Jacqueline Bouchard. Film Editing by Georges Klotz.
Francis Veber has the ability to make comedies whose feeling is light but whose after-effect runs much deeper, a skillful combination of essential social commentary and entertaining physical panache. In this winner, Daniel Auteuil plays a dull accountant who works for a rubber company and nurses a continuing heartache for his long-gone ex-wife and estranged son. When he is fired from his job for being a boring loser, his neighbour gives him the bright idea of letting his employers know that he’s gay (even though he’s not) so that they’ll keep him on to avoid a discrimination lawsuit. Not only does it regain him his job, he also makes a new friendship with the homophobic jock at the office (Gerard Depardieu) who is desperate not to piss the boss off, plus gains him a clearer view of his own life that helps him turn his entire personal situation around. This non-stop laugh fest features witty observations of the corporate rat race as well as the flimsy nature of personal prejudices, and builds to a marvelously satisfying conclusion.