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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 February 2006
Perhaps I wasn't as impressed by this one as I'd expected, but it is still a film worth watching, and surely not as bad as some other reviewers have stated here. It explores attraction from a different angle, and successfully illustrates that it is not all about looks. We can see why Depardieu's character is drawn to Balasco's ordinary looking woman and the way she "gives" love (rather than just "makes" love), even when what he has at home is Bouquet's perfect -but frigid- beauty, that everybody else envies him for. It is also interesting that an affair with an ordinary woman, rather than the usual super-sexy bimbo, is not much different after all, since it is all based on the physical: as soon as they stop making love, they have nothing in common, and he's bored. This is an interesting premise, but in a way it makes you feel that the relationship he jeopardises his marriage for is doomed to end before it's started anyway, and wonder why he cannot see it. I expected a little bit more there, a somehow deeper exploration of their personalities and what drives their connection to each other. Balasco's character, for example, has hardly any aspects other than the way she approaches -longs for, takes, and gives- love and sex, which makes their relationship seem rather superficial. And it is true that sometimes it is not clear what is real and what is imagined by which of the characters, but this doesn't ruin the focus of the movie. It still captures the mechanics of bad -or rather, inadequate- relationships, the emotional needs of human nature, and the troubles of mid-life crisis very well. And yes, the music, and the characters' reactions to it, works wonderfully: I loved Depardieu's exit line -the very last line of the film itself!
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on 15 August 2003
This is a good movie. A successfull middle/upper class businessman married to a beatiful lady falling for his working class/ bubbly secretary. The story is captivating and the question what happens next dominates the movie. Performances are very good, the music score is typical good french and the photography is typical of a movie made in Paris. If you like 80s french cinema dont miss this one. Quite a touching story too as the director manages to portray emotions very well
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on 10 May 2007
A succesful Car Sales who is married toa beautiful wife falls in love with an average looking woman. This movie deals with a normal occurence every where in the world,but hey! this is French.Blier is not afraid to tear our hearts and gauge our eyes even if it pains us because he knows the viewers will not take their eyes off once the reel starts rolling.Blier is a surrrealist as he paints pictures that reall or not there at all or puts the viewer in a state of wonder.The language used is definately for adults & very much hilarious at times(buy & see the dinner party).One of the most beautiful moments for me is the Gerpadeui's son who listens to Schubert's music for a school assignment and this movie has introduced me to this beautiful music of Franz Schubert especially the Impromtus, late Piano Sonatas D958,959 & D960.Very believable main characters and the whole cast is marvellous to watch.Please ignore all the bad reviews like I did & you will be rewarded with one of the best French movies of all times.I always discover something new with each repeated viewing.My friends immernsely enjoyed watching this movie.
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on 4 February 2010
...will not like anything else by the talented and quirky director Bertrand Blier. (In fact they probably will not enjoy anything I like, but tastes can be very different obviously.) This film is actually a lot less quirky than some of his and more sympathetic towards the female characters.
It has been a while since I watched this film, so I'm not sure how accurately I remember it, but I was so surprised by the low marks, I wanted to add my interpretation, and why I liked it.
This is the story of a(n early) middle-aged, middle-class man and the two women in his life. His wife, Florence, is all classic icy French beauty, his mistress is all heart, with an irrepressable lust for life and a close, lively and loving family, but no great looker. By reversing the expected personas of wife and mistress, Blier makes a much more interesting film. It explores the nature of attraction quite well and doesn't come to the standard "beauty isn't everything" conclusion. Depardieu's character eventually ends the relationship with his mistress, but does he live happily ever after with his wife? or does he stay because every other man around thinks he would be mad to leave? Pretty much all of the other male characters have fantasies about Florence, some of which are acted out. Or are they? You aren't quite sure when the action is real life and when it is fantasy, as sometimes what you think is real has bizarre touches and sometimes what you think is fantasy has prosaic ones (oily marks on the immaculate cream dress for example). I think this works well, sometimes fantasy, especially sexual fantasy perhaps, can be more vivid than real life.
I love this for its exploration of themes, as a slice of French life, for the (mostly well-rounded) characters, for Gerard Depardieu (who is never bad in French films, Hollywood ones are another matter), and for its ambivalence, it would be a poorer film if you really knew the future, as would life.
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on 18 May 2015
One of my favourite films! It's unique, rudely honest, Passionately funny, empoweringly sad and so human...
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on 17 October 2007
I do think that the two reviewers who gave this endearing film one star should be taken gently by the hand, walked out of the cinema at a slow pace, and talked to slowly. This film, if not in my top ten, has always been in my list of films the French do with such style and grace. Given how much effort French women put into looking good (and how well so many succeed), this is a wonderful (and wonderfully realized) reversal of the standard take on beauty. It is an echo of Romual et Juliette by Serreau, and well above anything Hollywood could achieve in this area. It's telling that no US versions have been made of either film, despite the highly original storyline.
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on 23 September 2014
I first saw this film many years ago. It was the first Gerard Depardieu film that I had seenad I instantly fell in love with his acting technique and his delivery. This film hs not lost its appeal from the first time that I saw it until now.
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on 25 July 2005
This is a fantastic film. It may loose in translation and this is why people who don't understand French may not appreciate. If you do understand French culture and language, go for it!
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on 1 December 2016
If you like French cinema ( I personally love it) you'll like the film. Thought provoking, unlike so many Hollywood style movies. I recommend it for anyone who likes psychological movies.
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on 15 July 2011
Depardieu wears a very large jacket . He has a wife who we are frequently told is very pretty , although she seems very thin and irritating to me . He has a mistress who is plain and obviously fun . There is lots of talking about sex and very little actual sex . Then faces are pulled , as only actors do in french films and then there is even more talking about each woman ???? I did actually enjoy this film , although now I dont really know why .
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