The Closet

Here is a French comedy that is now several years old: "The Closet" which stars Daniel Auteuil ("The Valet," "Manon of the Spring" and "Cache") has been called "the perfect comedy." Auteuil is an accountant at a French condom factory who overhears a conversation in the men's room; he is to be down-sized as a cost-cutting measure. He is depressed; his teenage son doesn't like his spaghetti sauce; his ex won't return his calls; and now he's going to lose his job.

That evening, he drinks a bottle of wine and decides to end it all. When he goes out on his balcony, his new neighbor (the moving men are still schlepping furniture and boxes into his apartment next door) says, "Don't jump! You'll mess up my car parked down there!"

The upshot is, they get acquainted, share another bottle of wine and our hero tells his new friend his woes.

The guy says, "I used to be a personnel manager for a large company. You can keep your job, just let them know you're gay. France has anti- discrimination laws, you know!"

Our hero says, "But I'm NOT gay!"

The neighbor says, "They don't have to know that at work, do they?"

And the fun begins....

This wonderful little piece is written and directed by one of my favorite directors in the whole world, the sweetly dependable Francis Weber ("The Dinner Game," "Le Jouet," "La Cage aux Folles," "Three Fugitives" and "Les Compères"). Also in this wonderful cast is the always-working Gerard Depardieu ("Green Card," "Unhook the Stars" and "Manon of the Spring") and Thierry Lhermitte ("The Dinner Game" and "The Divorce"). The dynamics of a corporate culture are beautifully captured and the various personalities, subplots and events are terrific. You'll LOVE the kitten!

Recent requests for foreign movies on DVD have prompted me to look at my own collection. A movie which enjoyed such a wide release in this country should be available through the rental outlets... It's a keeper! By the way, all of the movies in that last paragraph are entertaining, well- directed and acted. I highly recommend all of them.