“Bob’s our only friend! He’s changed our lives with his magic wand…”
A bisexual thief (Gerard Depardieu) entices a down-and-out couple (Michel Blanc and Miou-Miou) into joining him as he robs wealthy homes — then reveals that he has a crush on Antoine (Blanc).
- Bertrand Blier Films
- Black Comedy
- French Films
- Gerard Depardieu Films
- Love Triangle
- Thieves and Criminals
Bertrand Blier’s darkly comedic sex caper moves in a series of entirely unexpected directions throughout its 84-minute running time. What at first appears to be a rather straightforward tale of a bickering couple turned on by the illicit thrills of thievery soon turns into a gay-themed exploration of desire and sexual identity, as Blanc’s ultra-reserved Antoine learns to appreciate and normalize the attention paid to him by the irresistibly forthright Bob (Depardieu); meanwhile, Miou-Miou’s sexually promiscuous Monique — the more obvious catalyst for marital destruction — is relegated to an increasingly degraded position in the trio’s crumbling “menage”. The first half hour of the film — during which Bob shows Antoine and Monique how to stroll into any mansion and discover its hidden riches — is so effectively satirical that one can’t help missing this narrative thread once it disappears completely; yet Blier’s willingness to explore his characters’ sexuality far beyond normal comfort levels is impressive, and makes Menage worth a look by viewers willing to let go of more traditional narrative expectations.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Gerard Depardieu as Bob
- Michel Blanc as Antoine
- Miou-Miou as Monique
No, but it’s certainly worth a look, and a must-see for any fans of Blier’s work. Listed as a Personal Recommendation in the Appendix to Peary’s book.