Dave White
Cheri Review

Dave's Rating:


Sometimes love is boring.

Who's In It: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Rupert Friend, Iben Hjejle

The Basics: An adaptation of two Colette books, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, about aging courtesan Lea and the affair she conducts with Cheri, a spoiled 19-year-old boy who's the son of Lea's "friend," another professional named Madame Peloux. Lea's rich from a life of lucrative and fancy prostitution, while Cheri's self-absorbed from a life of ease. Together they do a lot of posing and pretending not to be as in love as they are. Then he has to get married to a virgin. And it's all happening in France, so you kind of wonder why anyone's getting too concerned about something as banal as a wedding getting in the way of an ongoing affair, but they do anyway.

What's The Deal: Occasional witticisms aside, there's not a heck of a lot going on here. And that's saying something when you consider that it's from the star, director and screenwriter of Dangerous Liasons. Together, you expect this team to deliver the goods when it comes to romantic intrigue. But no, it's just a lot of disinterested lounging and carriage rides and dressing for dinner and an earnest Michelle Pfeiffer suddenly unsure of her next step.

How Turn Off Your Expectations And Enjoy Yourself: In a way, this movie is like Transformers for a whole different audience. One demographic simply wants to see hardware crashing around loudly and violently, the other wants gowns, hats, villas, sprawling country manors and servants drawing the bath water. Both groups would like the movie to be good in addition to all the pandering, but will accept much less just to be near the more visceral pleasures. So turn off your need to feel something and just look at all the stuff on display. Just because you're seeing it at the arthouse theater doesn't mean you won't sometimes get let down.

Which Actor Seems To Be Having The Most Fun: Kathy Bates as the whipped-up Madame Peloux. But her name might as well be "Lady OOOO-oooh!" It's the kind of character some low-rent fringe theater group would cast with a man in drag.

Who Should Have Directed This Instead: Sofia Coppola.


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