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In a game of seduction, never fall in love.

Stephen Frears, the director who bolstered his international reputation with his Choderlos de Laclos adaptation Dangerous Liaisons (1988), returns to the annals of period intrigue over twenty years later with this melodrama, which reunites him with Liasons scripter Christopher Hampton and star Michelle Pfeiffer. An adaptation of Colette's 1920 novel of the same name, the tale unfurls in late 19th Century Paris - La Belle Époque - where numerous courtesans (or female companions of noblemen who occupied the royal courts) have worked their ways up through the ranks of high society. Two retired courtesans, Charlotte Peloux (Kathy Bates) and Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer) meet for some routine gossip; Lea then meets Charlotte's hedonistic, playboy son, nicknamed "Cheri" (Rupert Friend) and a passionate, erotic affair blossoms for the next six years between Lea and Cheri. Eventually, Charlotte makes an aggressive attempt to interfere with the situation by setting up an arranged marriage between Cheri and the virginal, 18-year-old Emee (Felicity Jones), the daughter of another ex-courtesan, Marie-Laure (Iben Hjejle). Lea feels irritated, and responds by seeking out young male lovers during a vacation in Biarritz, but the attached Cheri is not far behind, and in seemingly no time at all the two resume their bedroom liaisons. - Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide Trailer
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Directed by: 
Stephen Frears
Running Time: 
Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Rupert Friend
Screenplay by: 
Christopher Hampton (screenplay) Colette (novels)

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