Iffy for 16+
Robert Pattinson is bland in sex-filled costume drama.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Twilight star Robert Pattinson further distances himself from the relatively wholesome role of Edward in Bel Ami, a strongly sexual period drama about a social climber who charms and seduces several upper-class women to live a life of luxury. There are many passionate sex scenes, several of which involve nudity (breasts and buttocks are visible). Language includes one "f--k," as well as insults about a character's humble background. Violence is relatively mild, but there's one fist fight and one disturbing scene when a man bloodily succumbs to consumption. Bel Ami isn't a film with positive messages or role models, but it could provoke interesting conversations about class, power, and sex.
- Families can talk about Bel Ami's issues of class and gender. How were they the two determining factors to a person's prospects in 19th-century French society?
- Pattinson has a worldwide following for playing a particular character. Is it difficult to see him in such a different role?
- Parents and teens can discuss how the movie depicts marriage. Was any couple in the movie happily married? Do you think adultery was dealt with too casually?
The good stuff
Messages: Bel Ami is filled with negative messages about class, fortune, marriage, and sexual relationships. The over-arching theme is that people born into money take it for granted, and those who have to work for their pennies (or francs as the case may be) will stop at nothing to keep their riches.
Role models: The women in the movie come off far better than the men. Clotilde, although in an unhappy marriage, is a loving mother and selfless in her interactions with Georges. She truly loves him despite his many flaws. Madeleine is a progressive intellectual who believes in women's equality. As for the Rousset ladies, they're very naive and easily swayed by Georges' charm. And Georges himself is a scoundrel who chooses money over love and friendship.
What to watch for
Violence: Georges gets into a fight at a brothel/gambling hall, and one man dies from consumption in a bloody manner.
Sex: From the opening sequence, when Georges flirts with and eventually solicits a prostitute, Bel Ami is highly sexual. Nudity includes breasts, backs, butts, and basically everything except full-frontal genitalia shots. There are more than a half-dozen sex scenes, which range from semi-clothed romps to explicit depictions of lovemaking. Georges is a 19th-century gigolo and is depicted as irresistible to the wealthy women in Madeleine's social circle.
Language: One "f--k," plus insults like "whore," "idiot," and other derogatory terms.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Several characters smoke cigarettes (accurate for the era), and there's a lot of drinking at the brothel and at every social gathering.
Fan Reviews provided by
Enjoyable! by imrobynp
I enjoyed this movie very much. The cast was excellent. I was so impressed with Kristin Scott Thomas especially. The scenes did transition quickly at times, and it could be confusing if one isn't familiar with the book, but I enjoyed every part of the film. The characters were portrayed really well... I was surprised and impressed with the different emotions emitted by Robert Pattinson as Georges DuRoy. He was easy to look at as well, making the power of his intense stares very easy to understand why these women were so affected by him. Colm Meaney is a genius, and his disdain and contempt for Georges in the end was palpable. The rest of the cast did excellent jobs. I wish some parts were written a little better. I wanted to be able to understand everything without reading Bel Ami first, and i have to say I would have had a difficult time following without the book. I liked the scenery and costumes. I recommend this movie to anyone.
Breakout Performance from Patterson by GENIOTIC
Excellent performance from Patterson in this film. He really deserves an award for the painstaking effort he put into this performance, and for the fascinating range of gripping emotions that he conveys, speaking volumes and sweeping each scene. His character dances on the edge of rage and frustration, and yet is seductive and sympathetic. He also has fun chemistry with Christina Ricci, who is also excellent in a supporting role. I really was not expecting such a stellar performance from him, and could not have been more wrong: he can clearly nail a character to the T. Amazing effort he put into this film, and it really deserves notice. I am also sure his fans will NOT be disappointed! He keeps you on the edge of your toes. A really stand-out performance that proves his acting chops, and moreover is a performance you shouldn't miss! He will play exactly the opposite sort of character in Cosmopolis, and I am really looking forward to that movie now, because he has proved his range.
Bel Ami is Awesome! by Jedlander2001
Bel Ami is Awesome! Hollywood critics never get the results right. This is why you need to see if for yourself. I loved this movie so much and the book as well. Yes, books are better since they give more information. The acting and perfomance of Robert Pattinson is Amazing! This is the same similar review Hollywood gave Robert for his Remember Me performance. In which I never agreed with them either. Robert Pattinson keeps getting better in his acting. Hollywood is just stuck with the same common well known legends in our movie industry. They just don't want to share a good talent with the new actors rising along the way. Also, Robert is a true Gentleman in real life and has nothing but true love for his fans. So please let's stop the negative comments about Robert when you truly don't know him in real life. He is working hard at his job just like everyone else. He is not getting fed a silver spoon for his acting. He is just keeping his fans happy. Thank You!
Someone needs to make better decisions. by dlmmarcum
Given the cast, one would expect this costume drama to be FAR better than it is. But with an abysmal script, there's not much even good actors can do. Don't even bother renting it on video. Movie of the week, maybe.
Talk about a love triangle... or a octagon? by lonlygirl415
It was pretty good. The actresses were all fabulous, I was thrilled to see KST in a different kind of role than usual... It was definitely worth 102 minutes of my time after work!