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cheri
Click for full sized poster

Cheri

Starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Felicity Jones, Kathy Bates
Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
Based on novels "Chéri" and "The Last of Chéri" by Colette
Directed by Stephen Frears
website: http://www.cheri-movie.com/

IN SHORT: Strictly for the ladies. [Rated R for some sexual content and brief drug use. 100 minutes]

Writer Hampton director Frears and actor Pfeiffer last teamed on Dangerous Liaisons, and we all know how well that turned out <vbg> We liked that last film. This time out they have delivered a whopper that is strictly, well, we'd be repeating our self

It is turn of the last century, nicknamed "la Belle Epoque" (aka the 'Beautiful Age') in Paris. A time when Europe was still subdivided by royal houses and the various princes and kings of the various countries and principalities had lovers on retainer. Centuries of royal inbreeding led to a lot of ugly, and extraordinarily wealthy, men folk to whom the ravishing courtesan Léa de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer) was someone to be gently ravished.

Pushing forty or so, the fair mademoiselle is considering retirement when she is approached by a formal rival, Charlotte Peloux (Kathy Bates). Said rival is saddled with a 19 year-old son, nicknamed "Cheri" (Rupert Friend), whom she dearly loves. Cheri prefers to party all the time with as many fine femmes as possible and mom wants him trained to treat women royally. Charlotte's unspoken desire is to arrange the boy with the best marriage possible and she heads off into the wild.

Six years later the pair, to the surprise of both, are a couple. And said couple are in for trouble when  ma comes back to town, packin' a more age appropriate jeune fille (Felicity Jones) for her babykins. It is an arranged marriage and it will be a rocky one.

So goes Cheri, which fulfills the demand for films in which it is the woman who takes the role of dirty old man. So to speak. We now fully understand the perceived frustration of an female reader who ever felt frustrated by the seemingly endless wave of old stud/ barely legal film pairings. And as much as we find Michelle Pfeiffer to be as beautiful as ever, the entire story offers nothing for the male to latch on to. It's fair play, we guess, but the character Cheri is a literal waste of body parts. The point of the entire story, a radical notion in its day, is that true love is not to be defined by boundaries of age or gender dominance. Even so, we expect to see some sort of spark between the lead characters and there is none to be found here.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Cheri, he would have paid . . .

$3.00

This is for your dates, gentlemen. Endure.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Stephen Frears
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