Although deeply in love with her boyfriend - and indeed sleeping in the same bed with him - a schoolteacher cannot handle the almost complete lack of intimacy he will allow. Increasingly ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sagamore Stévenin ...
Paul
...
Robert
...
Paolo
Reza Habouhossein ...
Man on stairs
Ashley Wanninger ...
Ashley
Emma Colberti ...
Charlotte
Fabien de Jomaron ...
Claude
Carla ...
Model
Pierre Maufront ...
Photographer
Antoine Amador ...
Hairdresser
Roman Rouzier ...
Echography technician
Oliver Buchette ...
Head doctor (as Olivier Buchette)
Emmanuelle N'Guyen ...
Midwife (as Emmanuelle N'guyen)
Nadia Latoui ...
Nurse
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Storyline

Although deeply in love with her boyfriend - and indeed sleeping in the same bed with him - a schoolteacher cannot handle the almost complete lack of intimacy he will allow. Increasingly frustrated, she gradually finds her sexual appetites leading her into ever more risky situations, including a developing one with the headmaster. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love is desolate. Romance is temporary. Sex is forever.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and strong sexual content including dialogue | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

14 April 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Romance  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$44,829 (USA) (17 September 1999)

Gross:

$1,282,941 (USA) (12 November 1999)
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| (unrated)

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1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Catherine Breillat admitted to choosing Rocco Siffredi because she wanted a well-endowed actor in the role. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, Marie feels she'll give birth soon, so she tries to wake up Paul. During this scene she moves in a way which is impossible for a woman in her state of pregnancy. See more »

Quotes

Robert: Beautiful women like to be taken by ugly men. Of course, nobody admits that. There has to be a force of attraction. And that attraction is not between a man and a woman... That would be too simple. That attraction is between beauty and ugliness. Beauty is nourished by disgracefulness, there's a friction between them.
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Referenced in Brows Held High: The Anatomy of Hell (2012) See more »

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Dorn
Written by Bruno Kramm, Stéphane Ackermann
Performed by Das Ich
© Copyright BMG Music Publishing
Avec l'aimable autorisation de Eden Records GmbH (p) 1996
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User Reviews

 
at best a few curious intellectualized moments and some (appropriately) uncomfortable real sex. the rest...
28 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Someone hit the proverbial nail-on-the-head with Romance. A critic wrote that it's like a "bad update of an Antonioni film", and I think that's about as fair a description as one could ask for. It may also depend on how you feel already about Antonioni and his depiction of the precise lack of love or responsiveness of emotional contact in people - or, perhaps, if you've even actually seen an Antonioni movie. While Catherine Breillat probably (and, I would admit, rightfully) considers herself a thoughtful, passionate filmmaker interested in passionless people and in trying to pick apart the thoughts (or anti-thoughts) of a character like Marie, I have to ask after a while, in a film that doesn't have Antonioni-stature direction or compositions: what's the point? We have seen women like this in other movies, in loveless relationships or going out to spread or fulfill their empty wishes or such with others. Such as, yeah, Antonioni, but others too.

It's frustrating to watch, to say the least, but I wasn't ready at first to hold that against the movie. I wanted to see what it had to say, to see how Breillat would show people just having realistic sex, explicit in depiction (naturally, and believe you me its real sex) and talking like couples (or not-couples) do in such situations. I tried to stick with Marie's self-analyzing, her self-aggrandizing thoughts expressed in the first-person narration. In an odd way Caroline Ducey gives a good performance, or better than I remember at the time watching it, since she is good enough to not really need the narration to fill in the audience. Her face, her lack of expression, her inverted and bored and, perhaps, deep down f***ing scared self, show enough. The telling becomes overkill, even from a psychological stand-point.

Some may not agree with this, and that's fine. Some may watch Romance and just love that it shows real people having problems and having such problems during real sex. For the first half I could stick with the movie even as it had its pretensions because I wanted to see where it headed with Marie's infidelity (with the unnecessary lie about being married). It's when the other guy at the school Marie teaches at, and takes her in and turns things up on the sado-masochist meter that I started to waver on it... and, odder still, got bored. It didn't interest me seeing how perverted this guy could get, or how accepting Marie was of it or how it was shot or scored or edited. I admired that it attempted at depicting such a torrid sexual situation so seriously, but it ultimately just didn't do it for me - not on the kind of level the old-school hardcore-serious-erotic films did (i.e. Last Tango in Paris).

Romance is intelligent, and it does have something to say about women and loveless relationships. But was I moved by any of it or intellectually engaged after a certain point? No. It's a movie in a limbo where it wants to have something important to convey through art no matter what the cost, but the points aren't as interesting as its filmmaker thinks or terribly original. And if you just want to watch it for the sex, you're in for a not-too-good surprise. 5.5/10


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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