France before 1789: When a widow hears that her lover is to marry her cousin's daughter, she asks the playboy Valmont to take the girl's virginity. But first she bets him, with her body as prize, to seduce a virtuous, young, married woman.
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Set in Baroque France, a scheming widow and her lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an honorable woman. If he wins, he can have his lover to do as he will. However, in the process of seducing the married woman, Valmont falls in love. Based on the same novel as "Dangerous Liaisons."Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
I notice a bit of a war going on between partisans of this and "Dangerous Liaisons" (the Glenn Close/John Malkovich/Stephen Frears vehicle). I'm not entirely sure why, but I find "Valmont" so much better. I think it's because: A) Milos Forman is unquestionably a better director than Frears, especially when he can call on the photographic talents of a cinematographer like Miroslav Ondricek; B) "Valmont" takes the time to develop some of the relationships between characters on screen, while the other simply injects the viewers into preexisting relationships; C) Colin Firth and Annette Benning are quite simply sexier than Glenn Close and John Malkovich; "Dangerous Liaisons" is too intellectual, while "Valmont" works at the hormonal level too. D) Fairuza Balk is far more believable as a virgin than Uma Thurman (can anyone say differently?!?). I certainly acknowledge "Dangerous Liaisons" as a well-made, well-acted film, but in the end I find it nearly unwatchable compared to "Valmont", which I can (and have) enjoyed over and over.
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