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:: Cheri

Whoever scouted the locations for this film was right on the money. Gorgeous, leafy, flower-strewn gardens at palatial homes. Panoramic sea views from opulent hotel rooms. The eye-catching costumes and gorgeous sets are also sublime. Unfortunately, however, the film itself does not live up to its visual accompaniment. If Michelle Pfeiffer was hoping this would be her comeback movie, I believe she will be sadly mistaken. This film cries of desperately trying to claw one’s way back than a real career revival.

Chéri follows Pfeiffer as a courtesan (read: high-class escort), who has enjoyed many riches in her life from her work and has the sprawling home, servants and extravagant jewellery to prove it. However, she is getting older and the clients are drying up - fast. She ends up falling in love with the son, Chéri (Rupert Friend), of an old colleague and rival (Kathy Bates). The problem is Pfeiffer is considered a “cougar” for the 19-year-old. So, while the pair enjoys a steamy, six-year-long affair, it must come to an end in order for Chéri to marry, inherit and spawn grandchildren.

After a passionate tryst, the duo must wean themselves off one another, though, of course, they can’t help from returning into each other’s arms, as well spending long hours pining for the other. There are some sex-charged scenes between the couple, but the problem is, as an audience member, you find it hard to care for them. Not only are they unlikeable, they are so rich, they don’t have to work and their decadent, wasteful lives are hard to relate to.

Chéri, as well, is not the kind of toy boy you’d lust after. He’s a snivelling, skinny, pubescent boy and Pfeiffer just looks – sorry ladies - old. The fact that this film was nominated at the Berlin Film Festival and that people threw money at it escapes me. The snobbish accents are annoying and the tale is nothing new. All I can say was at least the scenery was good.