Monday, May 14, 2007
This goofy re-hash of the premise of Three's Company works surprisingly well. Danny Auteuil plays Pignon, who is about to be fired as an accountant at a condom factory because he's a dull dimwit. His neighbor concocts a scheme to save Pignon's job by having Pignon pretend to be homosexual. Under the prevailing PC sensitivities, firing a homosexual is a non-non, particularly given the condom manufacturer's customer base.
So Pignon stays on, and in steps Gerard Depardieu as Santini, the macho HR man and homophobe. Some of his office mates are tired of Santini's un-PC humor, and start the rumor that Santini is about to be fired for a lack of sensitivity to Pignon's plight. Let the games begin!
Auteuil and Depardieu prove that fine actors can rescue sub-par material. Depardieu in particular carries the burden here, demonstrating the same uncanny authenticity that made Spencer Tracy great in similar corny rolls. If French cinema were a French meal, and Renoir and Godard were the entree or plat principal, then Le Placard would be at best a digestif, perhaps with a side of cheese. I liked it nonetheless.