Monday, May 19, 2014

THE LOVERS (1958) - Louis Malle


Pardon my French, but Jeanne Moreau's character in Louis Malle's second film is kind of a bourgie bitch. OShe's one of those married-for-money malcontents who is never satisfied and lounges away the day in Paris with her socialite bestie watching polo matches. Her industrialist husband is little more to her than a cash provider. Her daughter is someone she pawns off to one of several nannies and occasionally kisses goodnight. She's has a sort-of secret guy on the side, a star polo player she shacks down with on the aforementioned trips to Paris. But apparently he's not enough for her either. Because when her car breaks down in the countryside and a strapping dude in a coupe stops to help-- walla!-- now she's suddenly got a third man in the mix. "More, more, more. How do you like it? How do you like it?" Honestly, not so much.

Though Malle's romantic drama is gorgeously photographed and well-executed for its ilk, it was hard for me to well up any feeling and/or sympathy for the woman at the center of his movie. She's the type to take the path of least resistance with most everything in her life. Then, when she suddenly decides to "follow her bliss," she does it at the expense of everyone around her. When the Graduate-style ending finally comes, Moreau and her newest lover riding away from her house and family in the morning on a whim, you see the second thoughts crinkle up her perfect brow the same way they did on Benjamin Braddock and Elaine in the back of their getaway wedding bus. "What have I just done in the name of love? And will I live to regret it?" The difference is, despite all odds, you're pulling for Benjamin and Elaine to make it. But with Moreau and her new stud, I was hoping that wouldn't make it past the next town. Better yet, I was hoping said stud careened the coupe straight off the edge of a cliff.

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