France before 1789: When a widow hears that her lover is to marry her cousin's daughter, she asks the playboy Valmont to take the girl's virginity. But first she bets him, with her body as prize, to seduce a virtuous, young, married woman.
In 18th century France, the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont play a dangerous game of seduction. Valmont is someone who measures success by the number of his conquests and Merteuil challenges him to seduce the soon to be married Cecile de Volanges and provide proof in writing of his success. His reward for doing so will be to spend the night with Merteuil. He has little difficulty seducing Cecile but what he really wants is to seduce Madame de Tourvel. When Merteuil learns that he has actually fallen in love with her, she refuses to let him claim his reward for seducing Cecile. Death soon follows.Written by
In Madame de Rosemonde's garden, Valmont sits behind Madame de Tourvel and asks "Why are you so angry with me?" The camera then cuts to a close-up of Tourvel's face, and Valmont is sitting much closer behind her. See more »
Vicomte de Valmont:
I often wonder how you manage to invent yourself.
Marquise de Merteuil:
Well, I had no choice, did I? I'm a woman. Women are obliged to be far more skillful than men. You can ruin our reputation and our life with a few well-chosen words. So, of course, I had to invent, not only myself, but ways of escape no one has every thought of before. And I've succeeded because I've always known I was born to dominate your sex and avenge my own.
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"Dangerous Liaisons" is this incredible movie that is so under rated. It's the battle of the sexes and this book was written over 200 years ago! I love to know that there was this same problem that we still have to this day. That's why enjoyed "Dangerous Liaisons" so much because it proves that we have so many differences from the opposite sexes. Men are usually expected to have sex and with a few clever words destroy women's reputations in minutes, while women have to be careful of sleeping with whom, because it's considered shameful.
Glenn Close plays Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, a proper lady with a secretive double life of sex and wishing to destroy a girl's reputation for revenge on her ex for dumping her for this young lady. She also makes a bet with her closest friend, Vicomte Sébastien de Valmont played by John Malkovich, that he could not bed a lady of such high stature and morals, in return if he succeeds, he will finally have the conquest he's been dreaming of, bedding Marquise Isabelle. I don't care what people say, this was Glenn's best performance and she was so brilliant. Her speech of "Dominate your sex and avenge my own" was perfect and as a woman I rooted for her in the story. She is a tragic figure that was over looked by many as just another slut. Glenn had my sympathy and I agreed with a lot of her dialog.
John as Valmont was absolutely perfect, he's not that sexy looking but has such charm and charisma on the screen you believe him as a lady's man. "It's beyond my control", he repeats this several times throughout the film and it becomes more darker each and every time he says it to Michelle's character. He does the Marquise a favor of bedding young Cecile to help the Marquise's plan of revenge and does such a good job. It was almost too easy for him, but he has a more difficult task of bedding Madame Marie de Tourvel who is married and has very high morals and standards of God and love. He falls in love with her in the process of getting to know her and is so believable, you can see how it breaks his heart to break her's. But he feels he must stand by his reputation and your own heart goes out to him despite his cruel manors as a "man".
Michelle Pfeiffer as Marie de Tourvel is so beautiful and elegant and is the only one who knows of Valmont's true side. But she cannot help but fall for his charm and love for her, when she talks to his aunt, this is one of the most true speeches ever in cinema that all women can relate too "I'm sorry to say this but those who are most worthy of love are never made happy by it. Do you still think men love the way we do? No... men enjoy the happiness they feel. We can only enjoy the happiness we give. They are not capable of devoting themselves exclusively to one person. So to hope to be made happy by love is a certain cause of grief." That is so incredibly and painfully true that Marie knows better but can't help but give herself to Valmont.
Swoosie Kurtz, Uma Thurman, and Mildred Natwick are all so exceptional and amazing as well in the film. They truly bring the story to life and keep it going with their dialog and actions. Keanu? Shudder, his acting is like... how do I put this delicately? I think it's... wood. :) Otherwise, trust me this is one of the best movies of all time. This deserves higher than a 7.6 and should be in the top 250. But it's beyond my control. :D
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