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Overall Rating
4.54

Awesome69.23%
Worth A Look: 21.15%
Average: 3.85%
Pretty Bad: 5.77%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 46 user ratings


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Dangerous Liaisons
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by Godfather

"Close and Malkovich make Machovelli look like Prince Charming"
5 stars

If movies can be said to be art then Dangerous Liaisons, the French based historical drama, should be hanging in the Louvre with the other masterpieces. If the title sounds familiar it is because at least two rip-offs (Valmont; Cruel Intentions) had the audacity to attempt remakes. In keeping with the above analogy, these films are the Louvre's doormat and toilet paper, respectively. In contrast, Dangerous Liaisons sets the standard for all films in respect to its brilliant acting, beautiful photography, intelligent writing and magnificent directing. Its story is the perfect blend of love and deception, and the cast delivers it flawlessly and with a genius that other actors cannot help but envy. It is a must see for anyone who doubts that love and hate really are two sides of the same coin.

Glenn Close and John Malkovich are absolutely brilliant as the Machiavellian duo (and former lovers) Marquees Merteuil & Viscount Valmont. The Countess has requested the assistance of the Viscount in what she describes as a heroic undertaking, the extraction of revenge on her former husband who ran off with the Viscount's mistress. The idea is to destroy the innocence of the Count's intended young virginal bride-to-be, Cecile Valounge (played convincingly by the well-endowed Uma Thurman). Unfortunately for the Countess, the Viscount has another intended victim on his agenda, the beautiful Madame de Tourvel. The Viscount intends to make the lovely and virtuous lady fall in love with him and cheat on her husband while still believing in the sanctity of her marriage. Despite his refusal of her request, the Viscount persuades the Marquees to promise him a reward (one last night together) if he accomplishes his self-appointed task. In the meantime, the Marquees enlists the unknowing assistance of an impoverished young music teacher (played by Keanu Reeves) to achieve her desires. Eventually, the Viscount decides, for entirely selfish reasons, to assist the Marquees in her venture. This seemingly harmless decision leads to a series of plot twists and backfires that rival the best moments of the Shakespearean tragedies "Hamlet" and "Romeo and Juliet". The result of this Dangerous Liaison is that the lives of each of the above mentioned characters become intertwined until they reach the inevitable Shakespearean tragedy conclusion, death and/or destruction of all but the most virtuous.

The reference to Shakespeare is very much intended. If you are a fan of any of his plays (or even the movies dramatised by artists such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Mel Gibson and Lawrence Fishburne, to name but a few) you know that they are exciting, and intriguing, and require the performance of some mental callisthenics when watching them. While Dangerous Liaisons is spoken in plain English, the sheer complexity of the film requires you to pay attention. Trust me, it is well worth it. From the beautifully photographed eighteenth century aristocratic lifestyles (including some decadent nude scenes with lovely young French ladies), to the delivery of the unbelievably witty and intelligent dialogue, you will not want to miss a moment.

For Hollywood BitchSlap, I'm the Godfather.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2082&reviewer=142
originally posted: 09/25/99 14:19:55
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User Comments

1/20/14 PAUL SHORTT SPARKLING STUDY OF SEXUAL POLITICS, WITH SOME GOOD PERFORMANCES 4 stars
1/04/14 Monday Morning Well, for a movie about sex there certainly could have been a little more tit shown. 4 stars
12/11/11 Dane Youssef Riveting and Shakespearean. Everyone here just glows, perfectly masterful. 5 stars
11/08/11 Cree great lead characters & supporting actors/actresses... beautiful costumes & setting 4 stars
6/22/09 art UMA THURMAN"S SCENES IN A STATE OF UNDRESS,ARE THE ONLY SAVING GRACE! 3 stars
9/03/08 pystol Malkovich severely overrated. Simply unbelievable. 2 stars
7/08/08 olga the critic Absolutely loved it!! A must see, Glen Close was right on! 5 stars
6/30/07 mb Sicko Stuff 2 stars
10/22/06 Claire One of the best movies I have seen. 5 stars
6/09/05 Jeanne Major props to Glenn Close - no one else could have played this role. 5 stars
3/24/05 Landshark Salacious story: sexual predators with savoir-faire 4 stars
3/22/05 steve newman A definate must see movie 4 stars
5/31/04 CM I had to watch it twice to understand the full story, but it was definitely worth it! 4 stars
5/05/04 Vince I think Malkovich kinda sucked in that movie... Overall, pretty boring. 3 stars
3/28/04 john Glenn Close is sensational! intense and well acted drama! 4 stars
1/16/04 ophylia777 soooo evil! 5 stars
8/17/03 Lorraine absolutely brilliant - genius 5 stars
6/30/03 WALTER HSU DUMBSTRIKEN 5 stars
5/17/03 Andrew Carden Reeves Is Awful In This Grand Film With Kurtz & Close Giving Bravura Performances. 4 stars
5/09/03 mr. Pink Very entertaining and exciting movie with some great perf, save for Keanu Reeves 5 stars
3/12/03 Blabity blah Excellent Film. I never get tired of seeing it. 5 stars
2/09/03 Clive Richards Great Movie, Intriguing til the end 5 stars
9/30/02 Charles Tatum Reeves is the worst thing about this excellent film 5 stars
8/16/02 I Can't Swim Close deserved an Oscar for this; movie is the best version of the material 5 stars
4/06/02 Jenny Tullwartz Close wasted, Malkovich only impressive cast mem. Remade better following year as VALMONT. 2 stars
2/26/02 R.W. Welch A near faultless production though the plot is less than gripping. 4 stars
1/22/02 Solo4 Nice setting, top acting and writing. Although i do have a problem with costume dramas 4 stars
12/29/01 julianChicago Close is brilliant in this film. The final scene were she removes her makeup is one of the 5 stars
10/12/01 Serberus Incredible 5 stars
9/14/01 sarawebsurfeur Malkovich is so great in this movie! 5 stars
7/14/01 ROX FANTASTIC MOVIE 5 stars
7/09/01 taj One of the few Masterpiece Theater movies that ISN'T boring! Actually quite nasty and FUN! 5 stars
7/07/01 Max An incredible film, Malcovich's "It's beyond my control" scene is phenomenal. 5 stars
6/23/01 Monica My favourite film, based upon my favourite novel. It's flowless 5 stars
6/15/01 Bada Bing Crosby The only version of this story that is worth anyone's time; Malko & Close great 5 stars
2/16/01 Jake What a masterpiece! Malkovich vs Close 5 stars
1/09/01 Keanuette Rivalry! Skullduggery! 18th Cetury France! Awsome! Mr Reeves can be my tutor any day...LOL 5 stars
11/29/00 Cristopher Revilla way way interesting movie, just don't see the rip-offs, there nothing compared to this one! 5 stars
10/12/00 Walter Provo Great adaptation, excellent performances, properly wicked 5 stars
8/03/00 Chris Drake Proof, perhaps, that hell is other people 4 stars
7/29/00 redqueen Pfeiffer is opalescent . . . Malkovich is some sort of god . . . Close is just kickass. 5 stars
4/26/00 perverted pixie Malkovich miscast my arse! He is bewitching, as is Close, the direction and script. 5 stars
9/28/99 Ami the Wonderbread And we thought the 1990s were full of depravity. Love John Malkovich. 5 stars
6/21/99 Lailinstar Malkovich is god! 5 stars
6/09/99 PurityJustBegs Malkovich is astounding brilliant, a brutal, at times hysterical, provocative film..Great! 5 stars
6/07/99 Elizaveta Malkovich must be what heaven is like! THE GREATEST FILM!!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Dec-1988 (R)

UK
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