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  Poltergay I Wanna Take You To The Gay Bar
Year: 2006
Director: Eric Lavaine
Stars: Clovis Cornillac, Julie Depardieu, Lionel Abelanski, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Jean-Michel Lahmi, Philippe Duquesne, Georges Gay, Alain Fromager, Anne Caillon, Michel Duchaussoy, Christian Pereira, Gérard Loussine, Stefan Wojtowicz
Genre: Comedy, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Back in 1979 at a basement gay disco, there was a tragic accident that killed five people. You might think that was the end of it, but not so, as Marc Modena (Clovis Cornillac) discovers when he moves into the house above the basement with his wife Emma (Julie Depardieu). It's a little run down, but Marc think he can do something with it, such as moving his pool table into the front room. He works for Emma's father as a construction site foreman, and they have never seen eye to eye, but the father tolerates him. However, there's a development that will make even Emma lose patience with him when he begins to hear strange music and see things like a disembodied arse sticking out from his bedroom wall...

Fully committed to light fluffiness, Poltergay was not much of a horror film, more of a giddy comedy. In fact the whole set up of a straight man who can see five gay ghosts that his wife cannot sounds like a premise for a sitcom from the ninteteen-seventies and quite often that's how it plays. If British viewers care to cast their minds back to the likes of Rentaghost, then this is very much the French homosexual Rentaghost: I'd like to think Mr Claypole would approve of the daft humour here. Scripted by director Eric Lavaine and Héctor Cabello Reyes, you might think there wouldn't be much more than a half hour to draw from this joke, but they do their darnedest to stretch it out to a full ninety minutes.

Nevertheless, that first half hour where Marc does his best to understand why he keeps hearing Boney M singing Rasputin whenever he tries to go to sleep probably enjoys the most laughs. Cornillac proves himself a fine farceur under the circumstances, driven to distraction by the five gay disco dancers who live in his cellar, but also make excursions upstairs to, say, take a surreptitious Polaroid photo of Marc in the shower. Emma is not amused, particularly when he beats up her father thinking he's one of them, so to speak, and by and by makes up her mind to move out until Marc can sort himself out. So he is left alone with five camp spirits, convinced he is hallucinating because of latent homosexual urges.

Of course Marc isn't gay, and it's nice that the storyline doesn't force him into any compromising positions, well, apart from being caught by the police in his car with a man who has picked up in a gay bar. But, no, the gay life is not for him, and eventually his quintet of new friends act as fairy godfathers to get him back together with Emma. To return the favour, Marc calls in an expert in the paranormal to ask him what can be done about their situation and even reconciles one of the phantoms with their old boyfriend. Even so, there's nothing too heavy about this, and Lavaine displays a sure, if delicate, touch in bringing out the humour. The ghosts may tend towards the camp stereotypes, but they are warmly portrayed and overall Poltergay is amusing, with a good many laughs and a nice line in sweetness. Music by Grégory Louis and The Supermen Lovers.

[Peccadillo's Region 2 DVD has a making of featurette and about a billion trailers as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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