Molière - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Molière Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 25, 2007
Entertaining period comedy with beautiful sets and engaging acting. It tells the story of French playwright Molière's early days, as if they were indeed as farcical as his plays. C'est très drole!
Super Reviewer
October 4, 2008
As someone else said somewhere, magnifique! This was like watching a Moliere play. All of the elements he later used are here. The actor disguised as a priest. The dilletante husband. The beautiful wife. The tutors for every subject then in vogue. The daughter who secretly loves the boy next door. The servants who turn a blind eye to the shenanigans around them. It's all there. As was shown at the end, after Moliere toured the countryside for many years, he returned to Paris and staged the comedic plays that this movie posits he lived during the historically unexplained absence of two years. Watch this and you may learn more about Moliere and his plays than you realize.
Super Reviewer
½ September 20, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"Moliere" starts in 1658 with playwright and actor Moliere(Romain Duris) leading his acting troupe to a triumphant return to Paris after perfomring throughout rural France for years but he aims to do more serious plays than his usual farces.(So, I guess you could say he was a 17th century Woody Allen, minus the space aliens.) 13 years earlier, he was not so fortunate as he was arrested for debts unpaid but is rescued by Jourdain(Fabrice Luchini), a wealthy merchant, who assumes his debts in exchange for his theatrical coaching to win the hand of Marquise Celimene(Ludivine Sagnier). At the first opportunity, Moliere makes a break for it but is simultaneously deterred by a very large dog and enchanted by Jourdain's wife(Laura Morante)...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Moliere" is a misguided and awkward attempt to explore the creative process. Well, at least it looks great. Maybe, it would have helped if I knew more about the life and works of Moliere. What I can sense is that he was some kind of comic genius. Ironically, the film is at its weakest when it tries to be funny while the serious parts are not half bad, as long as they are allowed to maintain some kind of momentum. Under such conditions, a good cast can do little to help. Ludivine Sagnier comes closest to succeeding but even Laura Morante cannot shine with material like this. And it is especially strange considering Fabrice Luchini was on similar ground several years back in "Beaumarchais the Scoundrel."[/font]
Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2007
Perpetually enjoyable for all its familiarity. Entire cast helps take up the slack.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2009
It was just okay
Super Reviewer
June 28, 2009
Moliere was a nice, gentle, warm comedy, with moments of great hilarity and sadness.The original idea of the movie was quite seducing, showing us part of Molière's life as if he were in a Molière's play. This fictional biography was what Molière had meet in his youth and all the characters he used as figures to his future plays.

I found the film a little long for what's it's worth. Some scenes were not needed and still they last forever and some unfunny situations were too long revealed. Example the love story of the daughter of the family, was predictable and boring. This film is not for everyone, but if you like French humor and a little romance you really can't go wrong with Moliere.
January 22, 2013
Think "Shakespeare in Love" except in French. With Moliere. And no Shakespeare.
That's exactly it.
Pretty witty, and I thought that the acting was top notch, which I don't like throwing around. A fairly predictable plot line, but it wasn't supposed to be some great narrative or intricate crime drama. It set out to be, and successfully was, a tragic comedy.
October 31, 2011
If a Movie Were Only Moments, Then You'd Never Know You'd Watched One

I kept thinking about turning this off. I knew I wanted to finish it today, because today is Monday and I'm trying to get back into my regular library routine. (It's worth noting that this is the first Halloween possibly since I started this project that the library did not serve me up a coincidentally appropriate movie for the holiday, but I disappointed it first by going on vacation.) But "finish it" doesn't necessarily mean "watch it all the way through." On occasion, it means "watch it until I decide that I have no interest in finishing it then turn it off and watch something else." Or, in this case, go to the library and return it. But every time I decided that I was done, that I was going to get up and turn it off, something happened which was actually interesting, or someone would say something funny. And so I'd keep watching until my attention began to wane again and I'd think about turning it off. And repeat.

It happens that there are a few weeks in the life of great French playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Romain Duris), better known as Molière, which are unaccounted for. (This in great contrast to William Shakespeare, about whose schedule through all of his life we know practically nothing; there are, total, a few weeks where we know where he was at any particular time.) One day years later, he is sadly contemplating the fact that he is only known as a writer of farce and satire, and he wishes to write Great Drama. But instead, he reflects on those missing weeks, which he spent in the house of Monsieur Jourdain (Fabrice Luchini). Jourdain is in love with Célimène (Ludivine Sagnier), a widowed wit and beauty, and married to Elmire (Laura Morante). Jourdain hires Molière to help him with a play he is writing to impress her. He is also being taken advantage of by Count Dorante (Édouard Baer), because the count is a friend of the king's and Jourdain is a hopeless social climber. Naturally, Molière falls for Elmire and Dorante is using Jourdain's money and presents to woo Célimène himself, and he hopes to wed his son (Gilian Petrovsky) to Jourdain's daughter (Fanny Valette).

Now, I've not read any Molière. This to my Aunt Susie's minor dismay, as it happens. I elected not to buy the book we saw at a thrift store two weeks ago, feeling that it wasn't quite train reading. Therefore, I do not get all the sly in-jokes which apparently turn this a bit into the French equivalent of [i]Shakespeare in Love[/i]. It's also true that I am not as familiar with Louis XIV as I am with Elizabeth I, and so I cannot give you a blow-by-blow of the accuracy or not of such things as costume and hair. I will say that it's a pretty enough movie, and I am amused by Jourdain's demand that his wife cover her breasts when you compare her dress to those which women of the French court would be wearing in a hundred years. Or, indeed, had been wearing a hundred years before. The movie is of course pure speculation, making the assumption that he drew on his experiences for several of his later plays. And the ever-popular Lost and Doomed Love, of course. Class was a bit of a deal in France at the time and would only become more so.

The thing is, the movie doesn't hang together very well. It is explicitly stated that this takes place over a few weeks, but Molière is supposed to have gone from complete ignorance of the woman's existence to being willing to run away with her. Despite the pretty serious consequences he doubtless would have suffered, if you think about it, which the movie clearly doesn't. He's supposed to be one of the greatest writers the French language has ever produced, and the movie takes place in 1645, but he is unable to string together a prayer which would convince anyone that he really is the priest that for some reason Jourdain thinks he should pretend to be. And I'm unclear why exactly it should be a priest, given that Jourdain has plenty of teachers hanging about the place and might reasonably be expected to collect one more. What's a writing teacher to a man who is already being instructed in painting, dance, and singing? And who living in Europe in 1645 can't even recite the Lord's Prayer? That one is good if you're Catholic [i]or[/i] Protestant.

And yet for all that, I couldn't quite turn it off. It's funny enough in places, and Laura Morante is quite lovely. As is the Jourdain estate. (Jourdain is a merchant of some sort, but he has also been made a marquis. This, of course, is the subject of great disdain from the various "real" aristocrats of the piece.) I have some sympathy for Elmire, but none for pretty much anyone else in the story. It would be unfortunate for Henriette to end up married to Thomas against her will and while she was in love with someone else (I don't remember his name). However, it's an unfortunate event which happened to a lot of girls of her station, and at least Thomas was young, handsome, and interested in her. Dorante could have suggested marrying her himself, after all. I sympathize with Molière that he wanted to write something great when all anyone thought about him for was his comedy, but of course he was even then thought great because of his comedy. It's not every writer who makes the cast of the play laugh out loud the first time they read the script, which he is shown doing. How do you feel sorry for him after that?
½ October 9, 2007
one of the funnier french period dramas i've had the pleasure of watching. move over depp, duris has the wavy locks and pirate moustache down to a pat. the antics of elderly luchini make this a fun show to watch, and morante performs admirably as his wife.
December 23, 2010
Everything about this was done exactly as it should be. I would probably enjoy the real Moliere's work. Highly humerous. Most amusing. ...Funny. Oui.
½ September 17, 2010
Very witty and clever, I particularly loved it when the Marquise got her just desserts, good for you Monsieur Jourdain!!!!! A very engaging plot, well acted, funny, and extremely entertaining!
½ July 18, 2009
Having read a few plays by Moliere, I found it fascinating to get this view into his life. I found the film very amusing with good design. I now want to read Tartuffe so that I might get further insight into the mind and humor of this wonderful playwright.
December 1, 2008
I have to say i really dug this movie, turned it on cus nothing was on now i want to watch it all over again.
½ October 24, 2008
Decided to see this after watching The Miser on stage. This was a wonderful piece of film, and I enjoyed each and every character. I really want to see Tartuffe now.
½ September 11, 2008
So much fun! I loved this one! This is typical French cinematic bliss from start to finish... the score is even impeccable! It has comedy, tragedy, romance... everything. I especially love Fabrice Luchini's bumbling idiot character. So hilarious:)
September 11, 2008
One of my favorite foreign films. Funny and romantic. There were parts when I couldn't stop laughing. Moliere's writing is so witty. I liked how the movie was funny yet sad like how he was suppose to write a play that had both and the film had humor and tragedy. It is possible to have both. Plus, Romain Duris is not bad to look at through the movie....gorgeous eyes!! Great actor!!
September 1, 2007
MUST SEE IT. I'm a litte uneasy about it all being in French though... hmmm.
July 7, 2014
Charming, delightful, resplendent
April 21, 2013
Plenty of fun. What Shakespeare in love should have been.
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