Sitcom

"Weak"

Sitcom Review


A tightly knit bourgeois French family flies apart in multiple spasms of insanity and sexual depravity in Sitcom, noted French director François Ozon's first full-length feature. The title indicates that all this is supposed to be funny, and it is at first, in a sort of Almodovarish way. But as the layers of weirdness pile on, any feeling of farce, which demands a light touch, is hopelessly weighed down. Blame it all on the white lab rat that dad brings home as a pet.

Father (François Marthouret), the doctor, and Mother (Évelyne Dandry), the nervous housewife, have raised two teens in their mansionette. Nicolas (Adrien de Van) is typically sullen and withdrawn, while Sophie (Marina de Van) is vivacious and enjoys a rollicking relationship with her boyfriend David (Stéphane Rideau). Both think the rat is cute. Mom, who hates the rat, hires a new spitfire of a housekeeper named Maria (Lucia Sanchez) and invites her and her African boyfriend Ebdu (Jules-Emmanuel Eyoum Deido) (whom Mom finds tres exotique in a slightly racist way) to a welcome dinner. It's at this dinner that Nicolas announces he's gay and storms upstairs. Ebdu volunteers to talk to the boy, but once he's in the bedroom, he takes sexual advantage.

Soon after, Sophie hurls herself out a window and becomes an angry paraplegic, much to the distress of David, who still loves her and is quite willing to become her literal whipping boy if that's what it takes to keep their sex life active. Maria finds this all fascinating and tends to David's sexual frustration in an exceptionally friendly way (French full-frontal alert!)

Mom, of course, is a nervous wreck by now, and things get worse when Nicolas starts throwing same-sex orgies in his bedroom. After a brief erotic interlude with the pet rat, which she is convinced has brought "bad vibes" into the house, she concludes that some good old-fashioned incest might straighten out the boy, and it's at that point that you may want to exclaim "Sacre bleu!" and eject the DVD. Throughout it all, Dad remains calm and reasonable, with a live-and-let-live attitude. But if he's really so calm, why is he loading that gun, and what is he going to do with it? Perhaps step one should be to shoot the rat.

It's virtually impossible to know who or what, if anything, Ozon is targeting with Sitcom. Middle-class values? Sexual prudery? Communication failures? Racism? Sexism? Rats? It's quite an eyeful, but it's not funny enough, sexy enough, or pointed enough to make a lasting impression.

Hey, this isn't Friends.



Sitcom

Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 27th May 1998

Distributed by: Mars Films

Production compaines: Fidélité Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as le père, as Sophie, Adrien de Van as Nicolas, as Maria, Stéphane Rideau as David, Jules-Emmanuel Eyoum Deido as Abdu, Jean Douchet as le psychothérapeute, Sebastien Charles as le garçon aux courgettes, Vincent Vizioz as le garçon aux cheveux roux, Kiwani Cojo as le garçon au piercing, Gilles Frilay as l’homme aux moustaches, Antoine Fischer as le petit garçon, Évelyne Dandry as la mère


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Advertisement
Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Ant-Man Movie Review

Ant-Man Movie Review

The increasingly stale Marvel formula gets a blast of fresh air in this rollocking adventure...

Love & Mercy Movie Review

Love & Mercy Movie Review

An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the...

Ted 2 Movie Review

Ted 2 Movie Review

Fans of the surprise 2012 hit Ted will find plenty to love in this sequel,...

Advertisement