7.3/10
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The Decline of the American Empire (1986)

Le déclin de l'empire américain (original title)
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Sexual revelations emerge when a group of academics and their partners spend a weekend at a country retreat.

Director:

Denys Arcand

Writers:

Denys Arcand, Gabriel Arcand (collaborating writer) | 6 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dominique Michel ... Dominique St. Arnaud
Dorothée Berryman ... Louise
Louise Portal ... Diane Leonard
Pierre Curzi ... Pierre
Rémy Girard ... Rémy
Yves Jacques ... Claude
Geneviève Rioux ... Danielle
Daniel Brière ... Alain
Gabriel Arcand ... Mario
Évelyn Regimbald ... Theresa
Lisette Guertin Lisette Guertin
Alexandre Remy Alexandre Remy ... Transvestite
Ariane Frédérique Ariane Frédérique
Jean-Paul Bongo Jean-Paul Bongo ... Mustafa
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Storyline

A group of academics at the University of Montreal - most long time friends - are planning on gathering at the lakeside recreational home of Rémy and Louise, who have been together for twenty years, married for fifteen of them, for dinner. Louise knows Rémy cheats on her, but believes he only does so when she is not around, about which she accepts. Their recreational home is adjacent to many of the recreational homes of the others, who are: divorced Pierre, his much younger current girlfriend Danielle who is a student at the university, the two who are still in the stage of newfound love, divorced mother Diane, independent minded Dominique, single homosexual Claude, and graduate student Alain. While the four men prepare the dinner, the four women are working out together in the gym. The common factor between the two groups is the topic of conversation: sex, especially as it relates to themselves. But underlying each of the conversations is their own academic and thus intellectual ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sex | dinner | university | gym | weekend | See All (71) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

14 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Decline of the American Empire See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$41,854, 16 November 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,902,706
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house in which the majority of the events take place, in Magog, burned down in 1989, was later rebuilt. The scene in which one of the women characters is having sex, seen through a window from outside, was actually shot through a garage window. The actress was sitting on the snow tires which the owner of the house stored in the garage. She told him that, thanks to the tires, it was one of the most comfortable scenes she had ever done. See more »

Connections

Edited into 50 ans (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Music themes
by George Frideric Handel.
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User Reviews

 
Personal Luck Addiction
25 June 2007 | by zolaaarSee all my reviews

The title sounds like as if it comes from Ancient Rome, and in a very galvanized way, this witty-sarcastic tragicomedy from Canada has something to do with it: The easier is life, the looser are the dos. And that is why during a country house weekend stay all the participating intellectual bourgeois charmers, who usually teach history and write books, waffle about sex, sex and sex, while they kick at the fitness center (the women) or prepare a fish plate in the kitchen (the men).

With perfidious lust Denys Arcand contra-dots male and female sex fantasies. When you listen to the gent club between stove and sink, your ears seem to fall off. When you hear the rants of the lady squad between sauna and bodybuilding, the ears of the gents ought to fall off. However, after the gender cliques unite at the table for dinner, a more complicated inner life becomes visible beneath all these ludicrous orgasm rants from before. Friends came together here who are kind to, who lie to, who hurt each other. Bitterness and resignation, but also safety and tolerance remain in the autumn dawn. And after all, it's a film of a verbally disarming sexual humour, adorably acted and with gentle ironies of absurd experiences of life: The human being is multifaceted. Simple are only theories.


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