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Romance (1999)

Romance (1999)

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.

That about sums it up, though risky is an understatement. The main character explores her desires without a thought as to the repercussions, though it ends well. Sort of. It's all relative.

It was a very sexual film, though also very observational - the narrative often focused on the psychological aspects of each event - told telekinetically via the main character, and often with a foreplay of dialog that delves into the more intimate parts of relationship... or lack there-of. Marie (played by Caroline Ducey) goes through bondage, and rape, and eventually even childbirth, all the while trying to salvage her frustrating relationship.

A few decades ago this would probably have classed as an exploitation movie, but now it comes across as artsy, though the film is often disturbingly graphic - like with the childbirth at the end. Is that what a magical moment looks like? It doesn't feel magical. The vibe of the movie is all but positive, though at least the ending is conclusive.

François Berléand actually had a role in this movie, as well as Rocco Siffredi - both devoted actors within their own field. They do a good job at making this a serious, sexual, yet sad type of story. The title shines with both irony and truth, and goes to show the word isn't necessarily as uplifting as it's hyped up to be.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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