Saturday, February 27, 2016

786. Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous Liaisons
Directed by Stephen Frears

I love the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, so I was pretty much ready to love this, no matter how many scenes featured Keanu Reeves.  I kid; he actually wasn't as bad as everyone makes him out to be.    Well, sort of.

Marquise de Merteuil (one of the greatest villains in literature) asks her morally impaired friend Valmont to seduce her ex lover's fiancee Cecile for revenge.  She promises him sexual favors, which he turns down (odd, as sex with Glenn Close seemed to be the thing in the eighties) as he is trying to seduce Madame de Tourvel, the wife of a judge.  Meanwhile Cecile finds herself falling for her music teacher while Merteuil is still determined to ruin her life.  Hell have no fury like Glenn Close scorned.

As I seem to be the rape police (don't you wish that existed? HA!), I have to point out how weird that scene was with Valmont and Cecile.  I kind of felt like it ruined the fun.  Before that Merteuil and Valmont seem to make their conquests through manipulation and skillful seduction, which is always fun to watch.  Watching Valmont take someone by force...not so much.

Still, Merteuil is a great character.  She seems to desire power and as she is a woman in 1781, this is the only way she knows how to get it.  I also enjoyed the adaptation Cruel Intentions, although that is mostly because I have a crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The nobel was considered so scandalous upon its release that Marie Antoinette had her copy bound in a blank cover so no one would know she owned it.

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