Dangerous Liaisons - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dangerous Liaisons Reviews

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July 21, 2017
i love this film beacouse it's faithful to the book and the actors are fantastic.
½ June 1, 2017
At first glance, Dangerous Liaisons would seem to be another boring, high minded period piece brought to you by PBS or Merchant & Ivory. Don't be fooled. The plot revolves around the scheming and vindictive Marquise de Merteuil and the equally sinister Vicomte de Valmont, played with joyful malice by Glenn Close and John Malkovich respectively.

In order to exact revenge on her ex-lover Bastide, the Marquise enlists the aid of Valmont, another former lover, to destroy the innocent reputation of a young girl Bastide is set to marry (played by a young Uma Thurman). It gets interesting when Valmont refuses, claiming its degree of difficulty would prove "humiliating if you don't succeed and commonplace if you do". Instead, Valmont is more excited about the loftier prospect of seducing the highly moral and religious Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer) - a challenge he claims would be his crowning achievement if he pulls it off.

The plot details eventually get more complicated, but by no means less interesting. No fair to give away more than that, but suffice it to say that these two morally corrupt individuals epitomize the debauched aristocracy in pre-revolutionary France. If that's the only point to be made, however, then the movie would have been just another meaningless exercise in sadism.

The Vicomte and the Marquise begin to wage a battle of the sexes and it becomes apparent that the people around them are regarded as little more than chess pieces, manipulated as a means to their own selfish, vengeful ends. Sex is freely used as a weapon; manipulation, treachery and lies are all layered in a dizzying, vicious and carefree manner. Leaving a trail of ruined people, both the Marquise and Vicomte revel in the process of destroying people for the mere sport of it. It's especially fascinating to watch the Marquise view her position in French aristocratic society with a detached, scientific curiosity, and then deftly navigate and exploit these societal restrictions to exact her revenge and impress her will.

But ultimately, Dangerous Liaisons is about two people so broken they can't admit their own love for each other. When the Vicomte finally grows a bit of a conscience, it's the Marquise that deals the most vicious blow. There aren't enough adjectives to describe the performances of Glenn Close and John Malkovich. You can tell they're having so much fun playing these thoroughly rotten characters. Not to take away from Close's brilliant performance, but Malkovich is a revelation. Forgoing the traditional English accent most actors employ when playing period characters, Malkovich puts a modern spin on the Vicomte. He sounds like a spoiled, bored trust fund baby from New England.

The opening scene finds the Marquise admiring her smug grin in the mirror, and the bookend to this initial cinematic flourish, is the final scene in which the Marquise bitterly removes her make-up, a letting down of the mask, if you will, to one of the best comeuppances I've ever seen. Executed with this much intricacy, and played with such malice and cutting dialogue makes this "period piece" a howling wolf in sheep's clothing.
April 14, 2017
Period movie about two conniving elite socialites who wager if one, the male, can get a very conservative girl into bed. Kind of a chick flick. You won't like this movie if you hate melodrama. One of my all time favorite movies.
½ March 14, 2017
A treacherously seductive period drama.
October 9, 2016
Perfect film!
That's all!
½ September 10, 2016
Dangerous Liaisons is a very involving film that is very well made with great costumes, score, direction, editing and an excellent performance from Glenn Close plus it is pleasantly playful and energetic in its tone, but the film still has a pretty soapy plot, too unlikable characters, it is sexist against both sexes and it lacks a definite payoff.
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2016
Close gives one of her best performances here and despite some plot twists that are rather absurd, I enjoy the screenplay's mean spirited wit.
½ March 22, 2016
I'm actually not the biggest fan of the story in DANGEROUS LIAISONS, and I think that the other famous adaptation, CRUEL INTENTIONS, actually does a better job bringing out the juvenility by making the principals teenagers. Still, for what the story lacks in likability, DANGEROUS LIAISONS makes up in spades with class. Although the satire is still there, I much preferred the biting wit and dialogue in this version. Glenn Close has rarely been better and gets most of the choice lines/moments, but most of the rest of the cast doesn't slouch either. John Malkovich was one of the issues I had with the film. He has played a lot of devious characters before and since, but I didn't care for the way he underplayed his character's malicious intent. To be honest, his performance could have used a little more "spice." Still, he did a passable job. The only member of the cast I didn't like at all, although he has a small role, was Keanu Reeves as an effete music teacher and paramour of Uma Thurman. His line readings were awful and showed that he really isn't up to the task (at least not at this point in his career) of performances requiring some degree of dramatic heft. Aside from the sexual politics which, although betraying the period it was written in, were still well-played and explicated, my favorite aspects of the film were the production design and score. For a period piece, this ranks very high in terms of quality and attention to detail. I also liked the harpsichord-heavy score which accentuated the stylization and formality of the time (among aristocrats). The score also had moments of darkness in appropriate scenes, particularly towards the end. Ultimately, I find the idea of the story, with bored aristocrats playing sexual games with each other, to be somewhat banal and passe (not to mention, sexist), but the way it is executed in DANGEROUS LIAISONS makes it a great deal more palatable.
½ January 7, 2016
Surprisingly great movie. Great performance on all sides. Slow moving but easily one of my new favorites and something to shut the Jane Austin prudes up.
November 24, 2015
A true exploration of creepy human behavior.
October 31, 2015
a well filmed and acted 1988 movie set in France in the late 1700s a film about lust,passion,and betrayal.
October 26, 2015
Malkovich and Close knock it out of the park
August 6, 2015
This would've been a flawless erotic drama if it weren't for the fact that period films and American accent just don't mix. The lighting, the costumes and the music were all spot on but then the actors open their mouths and I'm immediately put off. Having said that, there were a couple of brilliant performances here, particularly Glenn Close who is as formidable as ever. John Malkovitch, on the other hand is as always, trying to hard that he pushes himself from brilliant to over the top. The existence of Keanu Reeves in this film makes me feel sorry for him.
½ June 10, 2015
This is my mother's favorite film so I was expecting a lot and I was very bored and disappointed and in awe at how awful keanu reeves was. It was as horrible as his acting in Bram stokers dracula. BLEH!
May 29, 2015
Fun movie, but I just don't buy Malkovitch as a seducer. He does the detached, bored aristocrat who judges everyone and is a dick pretty well. But what does Michelle Pheiffer's character see in him? He doesn't play weak, pathetic and penitent very well. He's also not all that seductive. He mostly just smashes his face against her face and grabs her a bunch. I'd get a restraining order, not want to save him with my vagina. But aside from that, I enjoyed the cast and the outfits.
½ May 27, 2015
Wow talk about drama! I kind of knew I'd love this movie-I'm a sucker for period pieces especially ones set in France during 18th century. This movie had an all-star cast well casted, amazing costumes and set designs, smart script, great score, interesting scheme, romance triangles on romance triangles, sexiness- u name it! I must admit at times the script was a little too witty and fast and was hard to keep up with especially when there was so many different French names to remember and the performances were so captivating. Honestly I was like can Malkovich pull off a charming ladies sexy guy, but he did great. Close was scary her performance was so good, her facial expressions could turn a person to stone! Keanu reeves and Thurman played the parts of young naive ingenues well. Pfeiffer did good but I found her character not as convincing and over-dramatic. I kind of knew this movie wasn't going to end well with all the drama and suspense, what a movie!
May 25, 2015
3 strong performances, witty, clever and ultimately tragic game of human cruelty. Despite some odd choices by Stephen Frears regarding casting. Keanu Reeves? -- the movie has more than a few magical moments.
April 15, 2015
A wager of the damned is as entertaining as it is well acted.
March 1, 2015
Well acted with a biting script. But I don't understand the ending. I guess you truly can die from a broken heart.
February 23, 2015
Battle of the sexes is wicked good fun!
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