Monday, April 17, 2006

"It's beyond my control."

Brief Essays about Movies
That Were Important to Me

Dangerous Liaisons, directed by Stephen Frears

In the all-time best episode of Friends (The One Where They Lose the Apartment), the friends play a game to see whether the guys know the girls better, or vice versa. One question that Ross asks is "What does Rachel say is her favorite movie?" Answer: Dangerous Liaisons. "What is Rachel's actual favorite movie?" Weekend at Bernie's.

Anyway, during my junior and senior years, in high school, I could not get enough of Dangerous Liaisons. My friend Kelley and I watched it on a regular basis -- probably about once a month. It is a story of lust and seduction and revenge and evilness, and I loved it. The film stars John Malkovich and Glenn Close as French aristocratic friends and rivals who use other people in their sexual games. The rest of the cast includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, and Keanu Reeves as the sexual pawns, but Malkovich and Close steal the show. The smarmy, creepy, lustful evil that John Malkovich exudes in this film is unparalleled. And the final shot of Glenn Close is devastating.

In addition to the brilliant script and marvelous acting, I suppose part of the appeal of this movie when I was in high school was that it was not the typical favorite movie among Indiana teenagers. But that does not diminish its appeal.

"I want her to believe in god and virtue and the sanctity of marriage, and still, not be able to stop herself. I want the excitement of watching her betray everything that's most important to her."

Dangerous Liasions (and the play on which it is based) are the basis for the movie Cruel Intentions. I very much enjoyed Cruel Intentions, but nothing beats the original in terms of enjoyably charming heartless people.


At 10:36 PM, Blogger constant_k posited...

I never watch friends, but I watched 1/8th of an episode today. It was that episode, and I saw that line. Weeeiiirrd.

At 11:40 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

That's like cosmic. Or something.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

But really. How many Friends episodes are currently being rerun? And you get that one?


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