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Film / The Closet

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The Closet (French: Le Placard) is a 2001 French comedy film directed by Francis Veber, starring Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Depardieu, Michel Aumont, Michèle Laroque, Thierry Lhermitte and Jean Rochefort.

François Pignon (Auteuil), a divorced father, hears that he will be fired from his job in a rubber factory. His neighbour, an retired psychologist (Aumont), suggests him to prentend to be gay. He thinks that his bosses would not dare to fire an homosexual because of political correctness.


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The Closet provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert:
    • Pignon falls asleep in the office. Mademoiselle Bertrand starts removing his shirt because she would like to check if he has the same tattoo as on the doctored photograph. Pignon wakes up when a watchman walk in, and he thinks that she was going to rape him.
    • Pignon is waiting for his son outside of the high school. Alba and Ponce pass by and, because they think that he is gay, they assume that he is ogling male teenagers.
  • Animal Motifs: The abandoned kitten is an image of Pignon, who is abandoned by his ex-wife, his son and his employer. Belone helps both the kitten and Pignon.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Santini is vocally opposed to homosexuality. He is a manly man who plays rugby. He develops romantic feeling for his male colleague, Pignon.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: When he is in the bathroom, Pignon overhears Santini, who tells the photographers that Pignong is an idiot who will be fired.
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  • Becoming the Mask: Exaggerated. Santini pretends to be nice with Pignon and this makes him fall in love with his colleague.
  • Book-Ends: The film begins and ends with a company photography session. In the first one, Pignon ends up out of the frame. In the final one, he dares to push the other employees to be in the frame.
  • Break Up to Make Up: Pignon is still in love with his ex-wife. He constantly tries to see her again. When she finally accepts, he tells her that she is a bad person and that she does not deserve him.
  • Camp Gay: Conversed. Belone tells Pignon that he should not adopt an effeminate behaviour to pose as a gay man. He even says that the actors who do it discredit themselves.
  • Dead Pet Sketch: The kitten disappears from Belone's flat. Pignon brings him an identical kitten and pretends that it is the same one. Then the initial kitten shows up on Belone's balcony.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: Subverted. Pignon is divorced, but he is still in love with his ex-wife. He constantly tries to see her again. When she finally accepts, he tells her that she is a bad person and that she does not deserve him.
  • Faux Yay: Pignon prentends to be gay. He thinks that his bosses would not dare to fire an homosexual because of political correctness.
  • Firing Day: François Pignon hears that he will be fired. His neighbour encourages him to try to save his job.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Invoked by François Pignon and Jean-Pierre Belone. Belone doctors photographs to create images of Pignon with other men in a gay bar. He send them to his company to make the bosses think that he is gay.
  • Mentor Archetype: Belone is a retired company psychologist. In the past, he was fired because he was gay. When he sees that Pignon is going to commit suicide, he decides to help him and he devises a plan to prevent him from being fired. Pignon constantly asks him for advice.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Invoked by François Pignon and Jean-Pierre Belone. Belone tells Pignon that everybody will think he is gay, even if he does not change his introvert behaviour.
  • No Bisexuals: Even if Pignon had a wife in the past, everybody considers him as a gay man once they have seen the doctored photographs. Kopel even guesses that the pictures are fake because he catches Pignon having sex with Mademoiselle Bertrand. The possibility that he is bisexual is implicitly ruled out.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Pignon falls asleep in the office. Mademoiselle Bertrand starts removing his shirt because she would like to check if he has the same tattoo as on the doctored photograph. Pignon wakes up and he thinks that she was going to rape him.
  • Red-and-White Comedy Poster: See the poster above.
  • Shout-Out: Belone parodies the famous lines of The Baker's Wife by Marcel Pagnol about the cat who comes back home.
  • Sorry to Interrupt: A watchman walks in when Mademoiselle Bertrand starts removing Pignon's shirt, but they were not going to have sex. Pignon was asleep (he wakes up when the watchman walks in) and Mademoiselle Bertrand was removing his shirt because she wanted to check if he had the same tattoo as on the doctored photograph.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Santini is an outspoken straight man. Then Guillaume suggests him to be nice with Pignon. Somehow, this makes him fall in love with Pignon.
  • Take That!: Belone tells Pignon that the actors who adopt Camp Gay mannerism to impersonate gay men discredit themselves.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Pignon is going to jump from his balcony. Belone, his neighbour, shows up and tells him not to do it because he would damage his car that is parked below. Later, he reveals that he lied: he had no car parked below.
  • Those Two Guys: Alba and Ponce, two similar-looking employees, who makes comments about the plot, but have little impact on it.
  • Troll: Guillaume, who tells Santini that he will be fired unless he is nice with Pignon, only because it amuses him to torment his colleague.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Pignon is divorced and he is sad because his son rarely pays a visit to him.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Everybody is fooled by the photographs doctored by Belone. Only Mademoiselle Bertrand questions their authenticity.

Alternative Title(s): Le Placard

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