During France's belle époque before World War I, elegant cars, mansions, and servants defined the lives of les grandes horizontals, the courtesans of kings and millionaires. One of the most successful, Lea de Lonval, is approaching a certain age when an older associate, Charlotte Peloux, asks Lea to take on her 19 year old son, whom Lea has called Chéri since he was a child. They become lovers and, to their surprise, the relationship lasts six years. When it ends abruptly with a marriage his mother arranges to the daughter of another courtesan, Lea finds herself miserable. Has she fallen in love? If so, do she -- and Chéri - have any choices? Written by
Iben Hjejle was personally called up by director Stephen Frears and didn't know she was going to star opposite big Hollywood names before she began filming her first scene. See more »
In the closing credits, 'thanks' are given to France's national railway, the Societe National Chemin de Fer, known as the "SNCF". However the credits have the letters out of sequence, calling it the "SCNF". See more »
We may think ourselves familiar in this day and age with the notion that whores of every description can very easily achieve fame and fortune. But towards the end of the 19th century, there what came to be known in France as the "Belle Epoque", a select group of courtesans, who became for a short period, the most celebrated and powerful women in the long history of prostitution.
See more »
Even though there are more than two centuries of difference between the characters of Dangerous Liaisons and Chéri, it is impossible to deny the connection between both films, not only because they portrait scandalous romances from the aristocracy, but because they also count with Michelle Pfeiffer's powerful presence and Stephen Frears' precise direction.However, the comparisons become damaging when we compare the emotional impact and sardonic humor from Dangerous Liaisons with the hollow characters and dry romance from Chéri.
I found Chéri to be a good film, because it kept me interested and entertained, but the screenplay feels a bit bland and frivolous.Due to novelist Colette's reputation (whose books Chéri and The Last of Chéri inspired this film), Frears' big talent as a director, and the presence of two brilliant actresses such as Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates, I expected to find something more passionate, incisive and ingenious.The biggest fail I found on this movie is that I found the character of Chéri to be underdeveloped and bland.I have the feeling that the screenplay diluted things from that character on its adaptation from the books.
Nevertheless, I liked Chéri, specially because of the performances from Pfeiffer and Bates.The verbal encounters between them are perfectly interpreted, and the result is that they are very entertaining.So, Chéri is not totally satisfactory or highly memorable, but it still deserves a recommendation mainly because of its good performances and solid direction.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?