In an unidentified country in 18th century Europe, a usurper's daughter has inherited the throne and feels guilty about her family's crimes. She learns that a rightful heir exists but has been taught to hate her and reject all love, and who additionally is kept in seclusion to protect him from her. Spying on his household, she falls in love at the first sight of him, suggesting an obvious happy ending as regards the throne. But to even get close enough to him to talk about it, she must embark on a series of bribes, deceptions, and seductions... Written by
The film is based upon a famous 18th century play by Pierre de Marivaux. In keeping with its theatrical roots, there are brief shots interspersed throughout of a modern audience in the garden. See more »
I thought Mira Sorvino did a great job as did Ben Kingsley and all the others, however my real praise is for the woman who played the young man's patroness, Fiona Shaw, what a performance she produced, intense and perfect timing as well, absolutely great. I recommend the film as good fairly clean fun and a pleasure to watch. Mira was really well suited to this part, mischievous and sexy at the same time, she caught the spirit of this french semi-farce very well, although I could not see her as a young man at any time. Still she handled the part very well, it must be a considerable challenge to play the opposite sex. The author was of course well known in his day, and the play upon which this film was based was first performed we are told in 1732. I thought the attempt to include an audience very clumsy and actually did not realize what they were trying to do as I watched the film, right up to the ending credits when the cast appeared for a bow wearing modern clothes it escaped me. frankly I doubt it was worth the bother of attempting anyway, it doesn't add anything in my view.
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