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The Closet

By Rachel Deahl | Posted

There's something harmless, almost well intentioned in writer/director Francis Veber's new comedy The Closet; if only there was something funny in it as well. Daniel Auteuil stars as François Pignon, a painfully dull accountant at a small French condom factory. Ignored by his cold ex-wife and ostracized by his teenage son, Pignon stumbles through life a perennial loser. When he loses the only thing left in his pitiful existence, his job, his friendly neighbor Belone (Michel Aumont) devises a plan to get him reinstated. Belone doctors some photographs of Pignon hanging out in a gay bar and sends them to the condom factory in an attempt to convince upper management that the shy accountant is, in fact, a closeted gay man. Belone accurately assumes that the company will rehire Pignon to avoid a discrimination lawsuit. Ironically, it isn't until everyone assumes Pignon is gay that he begins to gain respect. Having penned the script for the classic French romp La Cage aux Folles, Veber is treading in familiar waters with this story of mistaken sexual identities. But while Folles benefited from its slapstick nature, The Closet is tepid and dry, offering little beyond the provocative notion that being considered gay might lend a guy an air of mystery.

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