The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'Empire Américain) (1986)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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Movie Info

A rousing "he said/she said" endeavor, The Decline of the American Empire begins by separating the boys from the girls. Preparing a gourmet dinner, four male intellectuals begin trading stories of their sexual experiences. At the same time, four well-read women, all working out in a gym, exchange their own tales from the love front. The film is set in the lofty circles of academia, a world well known to Canadian director Denys Arcand. The anecdotes related herein are based on actual events in … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Denys Arcand
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 5, 2004
Runtime:
Koch Lorber Films

Cast


as Dominique St. Arnaud

as Diane Leonard
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Critic Reviews for The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'Empire Américain)

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'Empire Américain)

½

Funny and intelligent view of the war between men and women, that grow for a much more hard subjects like: family, death, infidelity and etc.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

½

[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"The Decline of the American Empire" is a Canadian movie directed by Denys Arcand("Jesus of Montreal") about a group of friends who are all members of the intelligentsia in a university. In a gender role reversal, the men prepare the food for dinner, while the women exercise in a gym. While all of this is going on, they discuss their sex lives in graphic detail. [/color][/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=red]So, while this is an extremely talky movie("Intellectuals like to talk."), [/color][/font][font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]"The Decline of the American Empire" is a warm and witty meditation on the pleasures of life - namely, sex, food and friends. [/color][/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]Two notes:[/color][/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]1. This movie was made in 1986, so it surprised me that there were references to AIDS. I know "An Early Frost" was on television the year before, but I don't think movies had really begun to consider AIDS until at least 1990.[/color][/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]2. "The Barbarian Invasions" is a sequel to "Decline of the American Empire" but I don't think it's necessary to see the earlier movie first even though there might be more emotional involvement in the characters when watching "Barbarian Invasions." I saw "Barbarian Invasions" when it was first released a year and a half ago, so I don't think it mattered that much to me but I spent a good deal of "Decline of the American Empire" thinking about how young the characters looked... [/color][/font]

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A sad little film about a group of University professors, their wives, and friends who espouse typical '80s views on sex and love. The men share several boasts about their sexual conquests and the women, in a separate venue, talk about their loves. They come together to share a meal and in the course of conversation a pre-emptive strike is launched. Surprisingly little fallout ensues. The "R" rating must be for the dialog, casual drug use, and sexual situations, certainly not for the brief, partial nudity, although there was plenty of opportunity for more. An interesting character study with an adequate cast. Somewhat cliched story and less than demonstrative emotions. The title derives from an opening interview where a visiting author explains that empires fall when the pursuit of personal happiness replaces sacrifice for the common good as a societal virtue. This viewer supposes the rest of the film is proof of that premise. Good, but not great, by any means.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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