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Chèri Review


Chèri is another one of those highbrow, high class, Belle Époque movies. I suppose if you enjoy that sort of thing Chèri is worth checking out. Skip if you don’t.

My rating 3.5 Stars

I know that there are a lot of you out there who love these Victorian, Belle Époque movies. And I can understand why you love these movies so much. There is an attraction to the complexity of the prose, the intelligent and polite tirade of the high society, the elegant costumes and clothing, the elaborate sets and props, the romantic notion of the rich upper class. I get why people are attracted to it and I understand why they make these pictures. However, what I don’t understand and I could never relate to is the lives that the characters in these movies live. I guess I will never relate to that type of life and therefore I will never truly enjoy these types of movies.

I don’t come from money so I don’t know what it is like to have servants to get pissed off at for not running my bath at the right temperature. I don’t know what it is like to find a tiny flaw in my emerald ring. I’ll never know the anguish of discovering my van Gogh is slightly askew. I never had to deal with those “problems”. Instead, I had to deal with trivial things like Social Services coming to my house to take us away from my father because he was a drunk. I had to worry about my step father stealing from my piggy bank. Foolishly I had to worry about having enough food stamps to feed the family.

I never had real problems like my parents arranging my marriage like some sort of business transaction. Okay, I’ll admit that is a shitty thing to do to your child. However, what I am trying to say is that the problems these people face are self created and trivial. It all stems from greed, selfishness, elitism, and power they wish they had. And why are these people so unhappy anyway? Could it be because they have everything they ever wanted and now they are thinking, “Now what?” Every time I see a movie of this type, everyone seems so miserable. Is this how these people really lived? If so, what is the point of having so much if you’re going to be this miserable? I just don’t understand it.

The movie Chèri was one of these types of movies. Normally, I refuse to watch them because they just don’t interest me in the least, but my Do Not Watch list is quickly running out of room so it made my Watch list. I was bored out of my mind while watching the film. It was all I could do to pay attention to the snobby drivel and the fiendish cackle of these pathetic socialite higher class hypocrites. As I watched these people constantly complain and bicker about their pathetic lives, I kept thinking, “I wish a meteor would land on top of me so that I could be put an end to my misery!” I swear as I was watching this movie I kept pausing it for a few minutes to do something less boring, like cleaning my microwave, my toilet, and my trash can. And I did those things with a huge smile on face! I’ve never been so eager to clean!

Regardless of how I felt about this movie, I am not the best person to judge it, but I’ll do my best. If you strip it down to the bare story, I guess that it wasn’t all that terrible. What I’m saying is that if you enjoy these types of films you’ll probably like this one. But what the hell do I know; I hate these types of movies. Of course the costumes were stunning and the dialog was very well written, although, I often wonder, did people really talk like this during those time periods? Maybe it’s just me, but I have a tough time trying to understand what the hell they are saying. It’s like they spoke in parables and metaphors and you were supposed to make sense of it? No wonder they were so depressed! Their brains were constantly trying to decipher what people were talking about, that must be exhausting! I’d be depressed too.

Finally the worse part about these types of movies is that the entire production is all rubbish rhetoric with no real context. It’s as if they wrote dialog to run for an hour to describe a simple glass of water. I bet, without even trying, I can write this movie’s entire plot in one sentence. Retired courtesan (which is just another word for very rich prostitute) arranges a marriage between her depressed son and the miserable daughter of another retired courtesan, however the son is in love with another retired courtesan who was practically his nanny while he was growing up and when he realizes that he can never be with his true love he puts a bullet in his brain. That is your plot and somehow they made a 92 minute movie out of that. I curse the minute I came up with this stupid movie project! The worse part of this is that I still have to see Nine, The Last Station, Bright Star, and Coco Before Chanel…Hold, I seem to be trivializing over self produced quandaries. Ironic, isn’t it? That after all my quibble, I have come to the realization that I do have something in common with the gentle society after all. It is a terribly eerie thought. Pity!

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