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The last of Rohmer's Six Moral Tales. Frederic leads a bourgeois life; he is a partner in a small Paris office and is happily married to Helene, a teacher expecting her second child. In the afternoons, Frederic daydreams about other women, but has no intention of taking any action. One day, Chloe, who had been a mistress of an old friend, begins dropping by his office. They meet as friends, irregularly in the afternoons, till eventually Chloe decides to seduce Frederic, causing him a moral dilemma. Written by
Whether Frederic is on the train, at home with his wife, or trying to figure out how he'll handle the ravishing Chloe from his past life, he seems to truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds him and he wrestles with how to respond.
I was particularly taken with the scene on the train when Frederic begins to explain how he is able to remain under control in the presence of so many beautiful women in the world. Simply acknowledging such beautiful creatures seems to be enough for this man, yet when Chloe arrives on the scene we begin to wonder if Frederic will fold under pressure.
I can surely identify with what Frederic feels on the train. It happens to all of us -- we are faced with beauty, and we must respond. How we respond is what makes life worth living.
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