Thursday, April 5, 2012

Béatrice Romand in Rohmer's "Le Beau Mariage" [1982 France]

Here's your typical Eric Rohmer. "Le Beau Mariage" [Eng. Title: A Good Marriage] is a charming little comedy about a young woman's desperate quest for social mobility. Rohmer gently pokes fun at society's obsession with idealised myths, a perfect marriage in this instance, using the female protagonist as the butt of his jokes. What makes it engaging and a pleasure to watch is the beautifully structured screenplay, the almost perfect shot selection, and the dialogues laced with Rohmer's customary dry wit. Every single frame in the film is absolutely essential - the editing is that good. This post is merely an excuse to get across that point to anyone who would care to listen, there otherwise being very little need to talk about nudity in the film. A superb comedy from a French master, this late Nouvelle Vague gem is Highly Recommended Viewing..!

Amazon DVD Link
(a good deal going at the time of this post)

Sabine is fed up being a married man's mistress, she now wants to have an ideal marriage and get settled. Seems like a good idea, only she needs to find a suitor first. Enter Sabine's best friend Clarisse, the one she subconsciously tries to emulate. Suburban Clarisse is married and self employed by doing what she likes best, handicrafts. Despite Clarisse's worldly advise, Sabine is determined to seduce and marry the 'ideal' husband when she sees one. She finds the idea of marrying Clarisse's Parisian cousin Edmond appealing, and decides to pursue him vigorously, even as it becomes clear to us that he's not remotely interested in getting married, least of all to Sabine. But she is confident of her charms and chases him despite becoming increasingly aware that she herself might not be in love with him after all. It takes some plain talking from Edmond to bring Sabine back to her senses. The teasing ending is probably the best I've seen in a little while, as we see a resourceful Sabine get back on her feet after such an embarrassing fall from grace in front of Edmond. The film stars Rohmer regulars Béatrice Romand as Sabine, and the utterly delightful Arielle Dombasle as Clarisse.

Scene: Béatrice Romand
In the only brief nude scene in the film, we see Sabine walk off the bed when lover Simon gets a call from his wife and children in the middle of the night. It is then that Sabine decides to find herself a husband of her own and get settled, much to the annoyance of Simon. Béatrice Romand who plays Sabine has shown more in other films than this dinky little scene, notably the classic "Themroc" which as far as I know has never been released on DVD.


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