3 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 80 minutes
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Sitcom is a quintessentially French film in that American style cinematic devices such as character and story are of secondary importance to theme and dark humour. If you find the idea of a mother who seduces her gay son to cure him of his homosexuality to be funny, then this is the film for you. But be warned – it relies entirely on the shock value of breaking taboos – incest, orgies, homosexuality, and animal eroticism – for its humour. It may not be too bold an assumption to assume that most Film Threat readers have been there and done that. The story follows the antics of a generic family after The Father, played by Franois Marthouret, brings home a white rat to serve as a family pet. The rat inspires each member of the family – The Mother, The Daughter, The Son, The Boyfriend, The Maid and The Maid’s Husband – to one by one act out their deepest darkest desires.
While writer/director Franois Ozon manages some clever manipulation of his audience’s built in expectations (dream sequences that look like real events and real events that are presented as dream sequences) the filmmaker’s over obvious intentions quickly become tiring. The film presents an interesting deconstruction of the family and the way it’s portrayed in film and TV but nothing all that fresh or truly shocking.

Posted on December 7, 1998 in Reviews by

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