Claude Sautet's romantic drama César et Rosalie (Cesar and Rosalie) stars Romy Schneider as Rosalie, a beautiful young woman involved with successful businessman Cesar (Yves Montand). One day, Rosalie's former flame David (Sami Frey) appears and attempts to win her back. Cesar reacts with a jealous intensity never before seen by Rosalie, and because of that, she returns to David. She remains conflicted regarding her choice of partner, but eventually, one of the men does something which resolves the situation. César et Rosalie contains one of the first screen appearances of French actress Isabelle Huppert. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
I was disappointed in this "classic" by Claude Sautet. Two men and a woman. None of them seems to know what they want and when they "think" they do, act controllingly or not at all. They also alternate in "pairing"--the woman with each man, the two men with each other, with one always being "odd person out." What's the point? A reflection of partnering and quasi-"swinging" of the late 1960s, early 1970s?????
I really enjoyed this movie. Only another woman will understand the inner turmoil of having to choose between a wealthy man who cares deeply for her and her child yet, also wants to keep his bachelor ways and men friends as well. Cesar doesn't have much class, he isn't good looking, wears loud clothes and he is jealous but can give her security. On the other hand, David is handsome, sexy, poor and unreliable. Rosalie wants the best of both world and she drives the men crazy, but neither want to give her up and are willing to go to extreme measures to make her happy. This is something most men wouldn't do in real life- or would they? I understand Rosalie's predicament and in the end she makes an interesting decision.
This was fairly enjoyable, up to a point. We get to know Cesar (Montand) fairly well, as he is flamboyant and self-centered and gets lots of screen time. We don't find out so much about Rosalie (Schneider): she is luminous and independent for sure, but either doesn't know what she wants or never lets on, and it's never clear why she divorced her ex (he seems nice enough), or why she chose him over another ex-lover, David. Now David shows up and seems to want her back, but we don't know why, or much else about him, except his work. Still, Rosalie's dilemma (David or Cesar?) is interesting enough as far as the well-paced story goes, and then the movie suddenly runs out of energy (or funds?), and they bring on a narrator to finish it off, except even that ending is indeterminate. Maybe it's a French thing to end movies that way, but unsatisfying.