Sitcom (1998)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Black Comedy, Domestic Comedy  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - Australia , France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Francois Ozon's debut feature film is a hyperbolic piece of absurdist satire. A merciless skewering of the bourgeoisie, the ironically titled Sitcom helped cement the French director's reputation as one of the most provocative artists working in cinema today. Set almost entirely in the tony home of an upper middle-class family, the movie is essentially a string of outrageous vignettes. The surface serenity of family life is shattered by the arrival of a pet mouse, which sets off unusual vibes in the household. One by one, taboos are broken: from incest to bestiality, the movie gives free rein to Ozon's iconoclastic urges. While this stylized movie is clearly the product of an assured talent, it fails to sustain interest during its 79-minute running time. Ozon's demolition of the suburbs is certainly not short on zeal, but as a critique of modern life and bourgeois vacuity, it offers little that is new. Unabashedly heartless, the movie's succession of transgressions becomes numbing fast. By the end, Sitcom reveals itself to be as shallow and inane as the people it ridicules.