France before 1789: When a widow hears that her lover is to marry her cousin's daughter, she asks the playboy Valmont to take the girl's virginity. But first she bets him, with her body as prize, to seduce a virtuous, young, married woman.
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Set in Baroque France, a scheming widow and her lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an honorable woman. If he wins, he can have his lover to do as he will. However, in the process of seducing the married woman, Valmont falls in love. Based on the same novel as "Dangerous Liaisons."Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Fairuza Balk was 14 years old during production. She had a body double for scenes which contained nudity. See more »
In bed, talking to her lover, Madame's legs change position from one shot to the next. See more »
Madame de Rosemonde:
Ah, my sweet girl. If I understand what these people have been saying, you have a dilemma.
Madame de Rosemonde:
Tell me, if it were up to you, would you rather marry that Monsieur de... eh...
Madame de Rosemonde:
Exactly, Gercourt. Or the other one? The one with the harp.
Well, I... I... I'll do whatever my Maman wants me to do.
But that is not what my aunt is asking you. Forget Maman. If you had the choice, who would you pick? You, yourself?
Oh! I... I... I guess I would marry Monsieur de Gercourt, and... keep Monsieur...
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Milos Forman's version of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" is really shocking, but for all the wrong reasons. In the original story two jades who are ex-lovers have nothing better to do than amuse each other with stories of their sexual conquests. They seduce and betray, then relish the pain they've caused. Their vicious games (They take the love out of love as someone put it) take an unprecedented turn when one of them actually falls in love with his current prey.
The two previous movie versions of this book were more than satisfying and entertaining. It was a relief to see two master debauchers meet their grotesque fates, and the irony of each of them being the cause of the other's ruin gave the story its final edge.
"Valmont" doesn't have an edge, much less a point. Milos Forman pulled all the teeth out of de Laclos' story and left us with nothing but mush. He does the same disservice to "Dangerous Liaisons" that the Demi Moore version of "The Scarlet Letter" did to Hawthorne, reduces it to pap.
I mean, you'd really have to be dense not to see how "Valmont" totally misses the point of the material.
The performers, even those who have been out of school a while, appear to be doing a high school play with very pretty sets. Colin Firth and Annette Benning are not at their best, but their roles have been reconceived to the point where they are soft and blurry; their games have no sting because they're sentimentalized. The rest of the leads either look like kids in a school play (Fairuz Balk and poor Henry Thomas) or sound like children (Meg Tilly).
Usually we think a certain movie sucks because it bites. This one is all gums and has no bite.
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