5.3/10
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Romance (1999)

R | | Drama | 14 April 1999 (France)
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Although deeply in love with her boyfriend - and indeed sleeping in the same bed with him - a schoolteacher cannot handle the almost complete lack of intimacy he will allow. Increasingly ... See full summary »

Director:

Catherine Breillat

Writer:

Catherine Breillat (scenario and dialogue)
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Popularity
4,922 ( 924)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Caroline Ducey ... Marie
Sagamore Stévenin Sagamore Stévenin ... Paul
François Berléand ... Robert
Rocco Siffredi ... Paolo
Reza Habouhossein Reza Habouhossein ... Man on stairs
Ashley Wanninger Ashley Wanninger ... Ashley
Emma Colberti Emma Colberti ... Charlotte
Fabien de Jomaron Fabien de Jomaron ... Claude
Carla Carla ... Model
Pierre Maufront Pierre Maufront ... Photographer
Antoine Amador Antoine Amador ... Hairdresser
Roman Rouzier Roman Rouzier ... Echography technician
Oliver Buchette Oliver Buchette ... Head doctor (as Olivier Buchette)
Emmanuelle N'Guyen Emmanuelle N'Guyen ... Midwife (as Emmanuelle N'guyen)
Nadia Latoui Nadia Latoui ... Nurse
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Storyline

Although deeply in love with her boyfriend - and indeed sleeping in the same bed with him - a schoolteacher cannot handle the almost complete lack of intimacy he will allow. Increasingly frustrated, she gradually finds her sexual appetites leading her into ever more risky situations, including a developing one with the headmaster. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love is desolate. Romance is temporary. Sex is forever.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and strong sexual content including dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

14 April 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Romance See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,829, 19 September 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,282,941, 14 November 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Catherine Breillat admitted to choosing Rocco Siffredi because she wanted a well-endowed actor in the role. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, Marie feels she'll give birth soon, so she tries to wake up Paul. During this scene she moves in a way which is impossible for a woman in her state of pregnancy. See more »

Quotes

Marie: Why do the men, who disgust us, understand us much better than those, who attract us and who we love?
See more »


Soundtracks

Dorn
Written by Bruno Kramm, Stéphane Ackermann
Performed by Das Ich
© Copyright BMG Music Publishing
Avec l'aimable autorisation de Eden Records GmbH (p) 1996
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A movie about realising identity - not about gender
23 August 1999 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

I was very confused at the end of 'Romance' as to whether I liked it or not, and whether I thought it was a good film or not. The best bit for me was probably the Q&A with director Catherine Breillat at the end. She was (especially with the help of a translator) very interesting and articulate - whether one agreed with her or not - and I found the film a valuable commentary on her thoughts rather than the other way round.

The film is confusing; as we are aware, this is not pornography - but what *is* it about? Gender issues? Masochism? The female central character goes through a number of extreme sexual encounters and eventually finds some sense of identity unrelated to her sense of being part of a sexual partnership - although the struggle to find that identity has necessitated exploring her sexual desire. The other issue is censorship, as Breillat has something of a mission to push back censorship; this is related to her philosophical take on sexuality however rather than abolishing censorship for the sake of doing so alone. That which (sexually) disgusts us is twinned to that which (sexually) uplifts - the difference is not in the type of act but in the context - all of which is an extended metaphor on censorship itself. Breillat claims that the acts we find offensive in real life are also the acts we find offensive in images, an idea which in itself can lead to some self-awareness. But to Breillat, sexuality has become stereotyped in films. Show she wants to explore the boundaries and show that those boundaries, in themselves, are not good or bad, just as many acts, stereotyped as disgusting or wonderful, are not so in themselves but only in how we make them.

The degree to which she achieves this in 'Romance' may be the subject of debate for a long time to come. I hope I get the chance to see and study some of her other films. I hope the film is not cut by the censors. As to whether it is a great movie, I am less sure (after a lot of discussion and thought I'm slightly more inclined to say it is than it isn't though!) As I am gradually convinced of the director's unshaking artistic integrity I am more willing to put in the effort to understand her rather complex thought. As her film is her principle expression of this thought I have ranked it quite highly - largely for what she attempts, with whatever success, than what she achieves. As Sartre pointed out, success is more in the journey than the achievement.


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