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)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Caroline Ducey ... Marie
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 {J-26}

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

The film is dedicated to actress and director Christine Pascal, who committed suicide in 1996. 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

Robert: Women like to discover things they've already seen on tv.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The R-rated video version runs 87 min. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Il tiranno (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Spanish Storme
Written by Sean Spencer, Jonathan Lesane, Carolyn Donovan
Performed by D'Shadeauxmen
Arranged and mixed by Sean Spencer (as DJ Spen) et 'Jonathan Lesane' (as Josane) for Spensane Productions
© Copyright Defender Music/Westbury Music Ltd
Avec l'aimable autorisation de Defender Music Ltd (p) 1997
See more »

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User Reviews

Reversal of the Hollywood scheme
10 March 2003 | by zio ugoSee all my reviews

(this is a repost... the other review I posted was somehow missing a part)

In a perfect world, my opinion of ?Romance? would sound more or less like this. This is a fairly interesting film about the crisis in a couple relation that, in some sense, manages to come up with some interesting and quite universal statements about the couple relation qua relation and qua adaptation to a life of routine after the initial sparks. The desire of the woman to test her sexual boundaries should be seen, I believe, in this context, together with the final realization that, after all, even a bondage experience can be as banal and squalid as everyday life. The film is quite typically French: more spoken than physical, with the kind of conversation that French films seem to favor: too intellectual to be spoken by real people in real life, but grounded enough to make you wish that you and your friends could speak like that. It is probably not as good as ?la pianiste? but, then again, not many films are as good as ?la pianiste.? It is, however, an interesting analysis of a situation common to many couples.

This, as I said, in a perfect world. Alas, this is not a perfect world and, somehow, the question of the sexual content of the film managed to dominate the question about its contents. Most of this, I must say, comes from the barbaric and puritan America, my country of adoption. To the more relaxed Europeans, I must point out that this is a country in which, on television, it is normal to see ?reality shows? with murder scenes, car crashes during high speed pursuits, and violent arrests; it is normal to see in prime time films with violent content that glorify the army and the ethos of war. Yet, it is illegal to show a woman?s breast, and curse words that in more liberal countries are considered quite normal are invariably, and audibly, beeped. The sense and the moral choice behind all this escape me, but this is the background that one should have in mind to understand the outrage of some Americans in front of this film.

Outrage which, I must say, is quite misplaced. With the exception of one or two scenes, the sex in the film is not very explicit and, even including the more ?racy? fellatio scenes, it is no more explicit that in Bellocchio?s ?Il Diavolo in Corpo,? which I saw (uncut) on Italian TV (quite late at night, to be honest).

This outrage, however, and the puritanism that generated it, give this film its true significance, beyond the plot and the acting: the reversal of the traditional Hollywoodian standard. The essential fact about this film is that, while sex is depicted with immaculate candor (without, I must add, the lewd and voyeuristic aspects of Hollywood?s depiction), violence is symbolic, hidden from view. The only violent death of the film is in an explosion that we only see from afar in a very sanitized version, the dead body is never shown, and the Fellinesque funeral points to the unreality and the absurdity of the whole occurrence.

If a political message should be derived from this film, is a rejection of a culture that is trying to make sex unacceptable channeling sexual energies into violence, which is so often and so absurdly glorified and depicted into every gory detail. The call for sex versus violence implicit in the editing and the direction of this film is, I will add, a very healthy one.

Not a great film, but a fairly good one. Recommended.


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