Chéri - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chéri Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 28, 2015
Although not really involving nor exactly compelling, this romantic drama based on Colette is at least charming, with a wonderful production design and a nice chemistry between Pfeiffer and Friend.
½ January 5, 2015
An entertaining and thoughtful story from La Belle Epoque with some of the most gorgeous costumes, sets and locations I have ever seen. The hats, the dresses, the jewelery, oh it's magnificent. Michelle Pfeiffer is luminous as the aging (very well!) courtesan with Kathy Bates playing an amusing frenemy and one time colleague. It was an honest story about the world courtesans inhabit, what becomes of them as they get older, as well as a beautiful portrait of what it does to a child to grow up in such a world, curiously jaded about many things and yet inexperienced in real emotions and responsibility. Rupert Friend is channeling Hugh Dancy in this movie, as he channeled Orlando Bloom in 'Young Victoria', to great effect. I especially liked the interactions between Lea and her servants, which behave more like dear friends than employees. I loved the narrator, who lends a dreamy, fable-like quality to the story and is perhaps the voice of reason. While not a movie I would like to watch over and over, it was funny, bittersweet and pragmatic, dealing with the reality behind the gloss of the Gilded Age.
½ December 26, 2014
Chéri is a satire of manners that tells the intrinsically tragic story of the essence of the Belle Epoque in a light-hearted fashion. Loosely based on a novel of the same name by Colette, Stephen Frears weaves together contrasting elements to create an enjoyable and (if nothing else) beautiful work.

Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a retired courtesan who develops a meandering relationship with "the exquisitely handsome and cheeky" Chéri (Rupert Friend), the son of a former colleague and competitor, Mme Peloux (Kathy Bates).
The two lived together for six years in a casual style at Lea's homes, and enjoy a relaxed life style that epitomises one aspect of the Fin-de-Siècle France, with all the conversation expected of a couple of many years. Chéri later becomes married to Edmée, a girl of barely eighteen, whom he finds awkward and unfulfilling, and returns to Lea to rekindle their relationship.
Chéri is the incarnation of the spirit of the Belle Epoque, and his life and death follow that of his age. Friend is very well suited to play the title-rôle, and delivers an admirable performance with plenty of playfulness tinted by the barely visible, but nevertheless present, shade of true love, beyond the 'love' of the Fin-de-Siècle.
Noteworthy scenes are those involving Lea and Mme Peloux, with other retired courtesans, in which Pfeiffer's interesting use of facial expressions and the silly banter, particularly killer one-liners, depict the intrinsic comedy of the Belle Epoque, which only brings into relief its underlying tragedy.
Chéri is a subversion of the romantic comedy, and must be critiqued as such; it should be placed in a category nearer to films like the Princess Bride than traditional films depicting the Belle Epoque. Indeed, that it is in English rather than French alone reveals its nature, and it has successfully satirised the manners of an historical era into which previous films of its kind have scarcely ventured. The film reflects the temperament of the eponymous character, and of the Belle Epoque, telling a truly tragic story (with an appropriately tragic (and the sole acceptable) ending) with the techniques of comedy; depicting playfully a nation's path to destruction, the contrast of moods creating an irresistible film which, I argue, is not as devoid of content as some would have it.
Shortcomings of script and plot notwithstanding, the mixture of an exquisitely ornate setting, beautiful characters, and well-placed comic relief has created a thoroughly enjoyable and deliciously sensual piece.
June 3, 2014
Very interesting story with beautiful costumes .
April 17, 2014
Bien actuada, bien hecha, muy bien ambientada, pero se siente corta (para ser un romance de epoca). Es una pelicula digna para verla en permanencia voluntaria. (Texto intencionalmente sin acentos).
½ November 8, 2013
Entertaining... The Facts of Life...
October 25, 2013
Lea de Lonval (Pfeiffer): Did you really think I was such a good person? If I'd been a truly good person, I'd have made a man of you instead of thinking but nothing but your pleasure and my happiness.

This was such an unusual movie, at first the narrative gave me the impression that it would be a little light-hearted, that the story would be a bit more whimsical, a dramady; but as good as the movie proved to be, the conclusion was a bit more depressing than I had expected. The story, like I mentioned, was good and the whole courtesan angle was interesting. The film had a good ensemble but I felt some of the actors seemed a bit out of place, most notably the talented Kathy Bates. Even though she is quite a credible actress; I felt she was miscast and wasn't a good fit for the part. Michelle Pfeiffer was brilliant as usual and played the ethereal Lea de Lonval perfectly. The unbelievably gorgeous Rupert Friend was just too pretty to be true, it was distracting because I kept wondering if his character actually secretly longed to be a woman (especially when he was wearing Lea's pearl necklace) because he was just too damn, distractingly beautiful. Their love-affair was epic but inevitably doomed from the beginning and ended equally as tragically as Romeo & Juliet's; which was truly quite sad.
½ July 1, 2013
It's shot beautifully, the score is quite nice too. But who the hell cares about Cheri?
June 12, 2013
Loved the look of it. Not 100% sold on the story
April 24, 2013
pretty boring love story
½ April 5, 2013
love it! michelle pfeiffer is magnificent!
½ March 12, 2013
Not one of Frears' best works!

The movie talks about love and the relevance of age in it. The ambiguity of the decision-making is shown well.
½ February 17, 2013
Love a good "Love Story" especially when it's soooo tragic!!!
February 3, 2013
An emotionally engaging tale about the complexities of love that is as rich in substance as it is visually striking. Michelle Pfeiffer delivers a bold and extraordinarily humane performance as a beautiful and smart woman aching for a love that cannot be realised. As the title character, Rupert Friend's effeminate characteristics heighten his juvenile tendencies (his body language is very telling some scenes) and desires to learn from his socially outcast teacher. Kathy Bates is also superb, demonstrating a suitable comedic flare that lifts the underlying melancholic tone of the piece. In all, 'Chéri' is the fine materialisation of director Stephen Frears' vision from a well-aced Christopher Hampton adapted screenplay.
½ January 25, 2013
Apart from ther Art Neauveau, which I love, I can't say I enjoyed this movie much
October 29, 2012
Wow...this movie didn't know what it really wanted to be...
September 13, 2012
I remember Margaret and David reviewing this movie when it first came out a few years ago. I don't remember much else except that they both agreed Michelle Pfeiffer was excellent as the beautiful, aging courtesan who falls in love with a man half her age. I'm not into period pieces that much [unless Tom Hardy is in one and then I'm all over it like a rash], but the wait was worth it and I thought the screenplay was really clever. Definitely better than I expected. Good Saturday night film for courtesans and women and men in general. Not so much for the pious Christians among you. But art imitates life anyway, so go on, rent it too.
½ June 19, 2012
A good-looking & pretentious costume drama. Disappointment from the dream team consists of director Stephen Frears, writer Christopher Hampton and the talented actors like Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend & Kathy Bates.
June 12, 2012
Entertaining, slight, and not nearly as explosive or significant as the last time its writer, director and actress made a film together. It's worth seeing, though, given the cockpunch of a depressing ending that you totally don't see coming.
June 12, 2012
None of Colette's vitality, genius or heart manages to make it on screen. Pfeiffer is fantastic, as always, but gets no help from Friend, who completely fails to sell his character... Which is fairly ironic, given the subject matter. You can't quite pin the blame on him, though, as the screenplay gives him woefully little to work with and director Frears seems to have been napping on the job.
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