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

TOMATOMETER

——

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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

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 the lives of Arcand's professorial friends. There's nothing bookish, however, about the subject matter of the stories themselves, which ranges from mild philandering to S & M. The Decline of the American Empire was the winner of eight Canadian Genie awards (that's the above-the-border equivalent of the Oscar), including Best Picture.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre:
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Koch Lorber Films

Cast

Dominique Michel
as Dominique St. Arnaud
Pierre Curzi
as Pierre
Louise Portal
as Diane Leonard
Yves Jacques
as Claude
Geneviève Rioux
as Danielle
Show More Cast

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

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

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

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
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

Its like "The Big Chill" in many respects except its in French and the characters have far more interesting things to say. I think the observations on human sexuality made in the film are still pretty accurate, I wasn't a big fan of how they handled the gay character (but then it was 1986, and for that time it was pretty progressive) but overall I still think it works and holds up remarkably well over 20 years later

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

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] [font=Century Gothic][color=red][/color][/font] [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] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000][/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000]Two notes:[/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000][/color][/font] [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] [font=Century Gothic][color=#ff0000][/color][/font] [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]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'Empire Américain) on our Movie forum!

News & Features