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Initially, I stopped watching a copy of this film because I found myself feeling disgusted with the protagonists. Later, I decided to watch the film again as an impartial observer. To me, it became an interesting black comedy of frailties and morals.
This is a story of middle-class immorality and a pathetic obsession reminiscent of Maugham's Of Human Bondage. Morally-weak Didier (Fabrice Luchini) tries vainly to break his ties with brazen/ promiscuous Juliette (Sandrine Kiberlain). She has no need to be reasonable/considerate as long as she has the upper hand. Didier vacillates in a promising affair with insatiable Aurélie (Valentine Cervi) which would free him from Juliette. Others involved with Didier and Juliette are womanizer Jérome (Laurent Lucas) and his fiancée Violaine (Nathalie Beautefeu). Unfortunately talented Michel Piccoli is wasted in his role as Ariel, Lucien's smug/outspoken critic.
As in this film, Luchini seems to specialize in far less than ideal `heros'. In the '96 Beaumarchais the Scoundrel, Luchini was a brilliant-but-roguish delight and Kiberlain played his confidante/ mistress-and-later-wife. In '90 La Discrete, he played an egotistical womanizer who gets his come-uppance.
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