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Movie Review by Alice Castle

Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu, Thierry Lhermitte, Michele Laroque
Director: Francis Veber

Mr Pignon is insignificant. An accountant in a condom factory in the suburbs of Paris, his wife left him two years ago, his son grimaces every time he calls, his colleagues snigger at him behind his back, and despite his pride and conscientious attitude to work, he’s about to be given the sack.

If you enjoy French farces this is one for you. Pignon overhears his colleagues in the toilet talking about the fact he’s about to be given the push, and decides his life is just too awful and he’s going to end it all. While sharing his woes with a friendly neighbourhood kitty, Pignon is overheard by a neighbour who tells him there is a way he can save his job. Having lost his job 20 years earlier for being gay, Pignon’s neighbour points out that times have changed and Pignon could actually save his position if he pretends he is gay. With the help of Photoshop 6, Pignon’s head is superimposed on a pant-less hunk in a compromising position in a gay bar and by Monday morning the company is talking about Mr insignificance behind his back.

The Company Head realises the importance of the gay-friendly image of the company and realises he must not risk bad publicity – so despite his true feelings towards gays, decides Pignon must be kept on and even encouraged to be open about his homosexuality. Pignon is even asked to sit on the company float at Gay Pride with a large condom on his head – a sight which is witnessed by his son watching TV – who then decides that his dad is really rather cool!

All the while another homophobe the HR Manager Gerard Depardieu the most un-PC man on the board has been told he’s in the firing line if he doesn’t develop a little more empathy with minorities in the company. He’s encouraged to befriend Pignon, take him out to lunch and buy him birthday presents – an idea he finds totally repellent but in the process gets rather caught up in it.

Fantastic performances all round – Auteil and Depardieu are delightful – as are the Company Head and the nasty bully boys. This is a very funny take on political correctness with a Gallic flavour.

5 out of 6 stars