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A young painter takes up French lessons with an elder lady to ensure he'll get a grant for a French arts institute. That way he meets Anna, a beautiful married woman nursing the lady's old father, and falls in love with her. Written by
Homme A. Piest <email@example.com>
To me the funniest thing about "Brandende Liefde" is the pretentious Rob Houwer productions logo at the start. The producer obviously hoped to have another "Turks Fruit" on his hands, with Monique van de Ven starring (though they apparently wanted TV host Diewertje Blok) in a story based on a Jan Wolkers novel. Yet director Ate de Jong is no Paul Verhoeven (when he moved to Hollywood, his "Robocop" turned out to be "Drop Dead Fred") and Peter Jan Rens is certainly no Rutger Hauer (for one thing, he seems to be the shortest guy in the picture)
Embarrassingly, all of Rens dialog had to be dubbed (by Kees Prins) as he had tremendous difficulty with his lines. His best friend in the picture, played by the lead singer of 'De Dijk', is equally out of sync, though this may be his own doing. In flashback we see the two of them playing over aged art students trying to get a grand. Rens takes French lesions from an old unmarried lady with a horrible secret in her past and gets obsessed with Van de Ven, who lives in the same building with her famous violin playing husband. The young artist desperately wants her to model for him, but will have to wait seven years, or at least until those flashbacks end.
The inexperienced male leads range from wildly over the top in one scene to stiff as a board the next. Jan Wolkers' humor and dialog is predictably crass and the musical score unbelievably annoying. Although Wolkers has stated he thought the performances very good, at the premiere he mistook Peter Jan Rens with another Dutch actor, introducing him as Peter Jan Faber (might have been one of his jokes). Rens eventually found fame as gross children's personality Meneer Kaktus, before becoming a game show host. The fact that we now know what his real voice sounds like, makes "Brandende Liefde" even sillier to watch.
4 out of 10
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