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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 »
Truly a remarkable film for its ups and downs. The ups are delightful (dialog, costuming, movement); the downs are simply awful (acting, timing, editing, concept). The "jump" cutting, so dear to advertisers, becomes extremely annoying. The reference to the play as play by intercutting scenes of modern-day audience watching the play and the cast "curtain call" in modern day dress are distracting. I wish they gave us the English to the French song at the end -- it's probably the best part, and my French is only good enough to guess at the meaning. It was also reformatted for the screen (TV) which already gives it two strikes in my opinion. The 18th century French must have loved it.
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