Michelle Pfeiffer Seduces in Chéri Froth Fest
In today's Two-Minute Verdict, we'll analyze the Chéri trailer to see why the reunion of Dangerous Liaisons alums Michelle Pfeiffer, director Stephen Frears and screenwriter Christopher Hampton has garnered less attention than Bai Ling's Oscar campaign.
In the adaptation of Colette's French romance novel, Michelle Pfeiffer plays an irresistible seductress called out of near-retirement by gossipy rival courtesan (Kathy Bates) to revive her disaffected son, Chéri (Rupert Friend). What follows is a forbidden May-December tumble in the French linens, punctuated by catty asides ("I can't criticize his character, mainly because he doesn't seem to have one"), deep tissue massages on the lawn, Seine-side strolls and long night-gazing takes.
Chéri, said to be set in Paris, appears to have actually been filmed in an accentless arrondissement. And, in actuality, the stars of this trailer aren't the actors, writing or Frears's floral framings, but the Arclight lobby-ready costumes by Consolata Boyle. Bates resurrects her Failure to Launch role as a mother conniving to oust her overgrown man-child from the nest. Only in this film, she swapped out a permatanned McConaughey for an alabaster Friend. Fingers crossed for a Terry Bradshaw cameo as a lustful baron with a Shreveport accent.
The trailer promises a froth-fest but we're hoping that Kathy Bates's jarring guffaws foreshadow a sinister hostage subplot where she severs Proust's feet in a Parisian jardin.
VERDICT: Sold! -- for Michelle Pfeiffer completists only.