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In this adaptation of Françoise Sagan's best selling novel, Paula is a beautiful and highly successful 40-year-old businesswoman. She is deeply in love with Roger, her mature consort of five years. Roger is a very charming gallant who loves Paula but is too selfish to give up his freedom to be promiscuous. When Paula meets Phillip, the 24-year-old immature lawyer son of one of her rich clients, he falls hopelessly in love with the glamorous, sympathetic older woman and insists that the age difference will be no barrier to a romance. Paula resists the young man's persistent advances, but she finally succumbs when Roger initiates yet another affair with one of his young Maisies. An affair begins, and society does not approve. Written by
Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>
For better or worse, the book on which this film is based, Francoise Sagan's highly-touted French best seller, "Aimez-vous Brahms?" was a key document in the early 60's feminist awakening, depicting as it does a horrendous case study of gallic male chauvinism toward an intelligent and faithful woman. Despite the obvious soapiness of the plot, Bergman makes the movie version credible. Her soulful eyes and sad little smile enhance a lovable portrayal of the heroine Paula. Few other actresses of the time had the presence and skill to bring this off -- allowing us to fathom the almost tragic depth of the jejeune Phillip's fascination with a gorgeous "older woman" while avoiding the appearance of silliness which might have, but does not, taint Paula's irrational loyalty to Roger. In short, Ingrid probably set the standard for the many subsequent portrayals of more successful independent yet loving women. The rest of the cast helps too -- Montand's magnetism makes Paula's continuing love for the cad almost believable and, for once, Anthony Perkins' stereotypical "spoiled rich boy " portrayal is right on target and his infatuation convincing.
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