Sitcom | Chicago Reader

Sitcom

French director Francois Ozon (See the Sea) describes his creepily Kafkaesque 1998 feature as “the film of a perverse child.” A complacent French family rapidly self-destructs when papa (Francois Martrhouret) brings home a white lab rat as a pet. The rodent's arrival unleashes all the sexual tensions repressed under the father's dour authority: his suicidal daughter (Marina de Van) reduces her beautiful boyfriend (Stephane Rideau) to a sex slave, his closeted son (Adrian de Van) hosts orgies in his bedroom, and his hitherto passive wife (the delightfully clueless Evelyne Dandry) resorts to incest to cure her son's homosexuality. Continually thwarting our expectations, Sitcom seems to exist more for its psychosexual shock effects than for any dark insight into the family's denial or the father's failure, yet its nasty story is delivered with such deadpan directness that it develops a sick logic of its own.

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