Bertrand Blier's films have explored the sometimes misogynistic sexuality of younger men, but here he offers an absorbing, funny, and moving take on a middle-aged man's adulterous affair. Gerard Depardieu stars as Bernard, an affluent car dealer who finds himself in the grip of a violent passion for his new secretary, a rather plain-looking, middle-aged woman played by Josiane Balasko. Seemingly a happily married man with a beautiful wife (Carole Bouquet) and children, he can't understand what is happening as his life is turned upside down. While it may seem that Blier simply enjoys tweaking convention, he's clearly after far more than laughs given the tenderness he finds in the scenes between the adulterous lovers. Bernard's age has suddenly made him more vulnerable, a state of emotion that he realizes Colette grasps intuitively. Depardieu and French comedienne Balasko make a completely believable couple, and the photography of the great Philippe Rousselot is stunning. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi
A Mid-life crisis on steroids leads Gerard Depardieu (as Bernard), as an affluent car dealer, to have a passionate affair with his frumpy plain Jane secretary played by Josiane Balasko (as Colette). The affair soon becomes public leaving his beautiful yet aloof and dispassionate trophy wife, Carole Bouquet (as Florence), and two children in turmoil. Depardieu and Balasko give good performances as the passionate adulterous lovers lost in their own world but I found the movies central premise that an intelligent and successful business man, going through mid-life crises, would trade down, rather then up, in his search for male revalidation. Bouquets performance as the beautiful, sophisticated, yet passion deficient wife (and good choice for ice queen of the year) was excellent. You could understand why Bernard would go looking for a women who knew how to love. Although a love comedy, most Americans would probably find more drama then laughs with this one.