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Movie Review: Cheri

Alternate Title: Hum Drum

Story: The duo that brought us the terrific Dangerous Liaisons over 20 years ago, director Stephen Frears and writer Christopher Hampton did not hit another home run with their latest collaboration, Cheri. It is based on the novels Chéri and The Last of Chéri by Colette. What went wrong you say? It had a headline cast, good source material and a sumptuous period in time (Belle Epoque) to set as background. Sadly it went flat.

The idea of an aging courtesan (we now know them as cougars) and a young man in the throws of a wild affair should have been hot and heavy. Sadly, there was not much chemistry to create that tempestuous love on the big screen. It was disappointing to see such pretty people become so boring. It should have been a romp, with delightful scene stealing dialogue. Sadly, it tanked.

What went right? The production designer, Alan MacDonald did a splendid job with museum style recreations of this era. The costumes, lighting and photography were all fine but without a good script, there is just so much attention to detail that can be paid.

Watch the trailer here - it is all you need to see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_dCJ7NQLxs

Acting: Michelle Pfeiffer as Léa de Lonval simply did not carry it off as required. She was not the sexy cougar that the role demanded. Rupert Friend as Chéri, was delightful to watch and fit his character to a tee. Felicity Jones as young Edmée was forgettable. Kathy Bates as Madame Peloux, is usually perfect but was terribly miscast in this role.

Trivia: Michelle Pfeiffer did her own singing in Grease 2, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Prince of Egypt and Hairspray. She turned down the Sharon Stone role in Basic Instinct. She has been an avid oil painter for most of her life.

Predilection: None

Critters: None

Food: Lots of sumptuous fine food was served.

Sex Spectrum: Lots of boudoir scenes but really little was shown.

Soundtrack: I can't recall but my movie buddy said it was lovely.

Opening Titles: I nice intro into the movie. I had high hopes which were quickly dashed.

Visual Art: Visually a treat

Theater Audience: A few comatose viewers.

Drift Factor: Major drifting by me and my movie buddy took a few short naps.

Predictability Level: Who cared?

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Neither.

Length: Thankfully it was way under two hours.