- Movie Review:
- Antony Cordier
In this sexy, French romantic drama, two couples decide to explore the boundaries of their relationships by swapping partners. What starts as a fun, free-spirited ménage-a-4 experimentation full of sleepovers, shared vacations, and dinner parties soon turns into a hotbed of desire, anger, and confusion. As their arrangement leads them down an increasingly surprising and provocative path, the lovers begin to question their personal choices and lifestyles, leading to consequences none of them could foresee.
‘In our nature, however, there is a provision alike and merciful…’
Antony Cordier, Four Lovers (2010) – (NSFW) In Cordier’s Lovers, two married couples who inadvertently decided to explore the boundaries of their friendships by exchanging spouses for what seemed to be a good idea in the beginning. However, their convenient situation quickly turned to jealousy, anger, and confusion. Other than their attractiveness, there really isn’t much to the couples. Of course, viewers are privy to what they all do for a living: Rachel (Martina Foïs), a jeweler, and her husband Franck (Roschdy Zem), a writer and working on his latest book Feng Shui for Couples. They meet both Vincent (Nicolas Ducauchelle) a web designer, and his wife Teri (Elodie Bouchez) a former Olympic gymnast when Rachel needed advice on her business website.
Soon thereafter, they met for dinner and spoke about what they all did for a living when Franck offered a back massage to Vincent’s wife. It seems that all those years as a gymnast took its toll on her body. As Franck counted her vertebrae, they turned to kiss each other. When Vincent returned Franck did not have a problem with telling him just what he did. It surprised me that Vincent did nothing but stared. Both men just stared at each other–maybe to affirm what was about to happen–there was no discussion of the topic nor were there any rules. It (the wife swap) just sort of happened, and everyone was okay with it.
‘That the sufferer should never know the intensity…’
Between the couples, they are raising three kids, and I could not help but be a little concerned for them; seeing that the parents were too involved with one another and that the children could be seen as dejected ornaments outside the intimate relationships of their parents. If they were to remain completely “out” of the story, then why are they there in the first place?
The nude sex scenes between the adults were intensely intimate. The cinematography revealed just how mesmerizingly beautiful the intimacy between two adults is, and can be. With each coupling, it revealed more about them individually–which beget the conflict. Although there were not rules to speak of, when Vincent happen upon his wife, and best friend together he became enraged. He began to wonder and asked his wife if she were happy with their arrangement–as she had asked the same of him. Never mind the minor details of who did what to whom–this just never was discussed–still you could sense just how curious they all were about each others’ other.
’Of what he endures by its present torture..’
The real problem about Four Lovers is that you didn’t get any more from the film than what the sex scenes and the brief disagreements gave you–their frequent exposures resulted in a boring competition between both men and women when it was discovered that the opposite partner provided what their own marital partnership did not.
Overall, Four Lovers is a mildly stimulating and polite film. Maybe the director was too afraid to delve deeper into the conflict that would have naturally occurred under less trivial circumstances involving extramarital affairs but didn’t.
I guess we all have to be content with not being well…satisfied.
‘But chiefly by the pang that rankles after it’
- editor rating2
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