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When French courtesan Madame Peloux (Kathy Bates) sets her pampered son, Cheri (Rupert Friend), up with middle-aged fellow courtesan Lea de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer), she wants to ensure he learns all about lovemaking from the best. But the affair lasts for years, creating problems when it's time for Cheri to marry a wealthy woman.
There is certainly a lot to like about Cheri, a beautifully made costume drama, shot in some wonderful locations with some outstanding performances but I think it was made only for a limited audience and some people might find it to be more of a drag than anything else. You must have a thing for period pieces to enjoy them and there are many out there that simple like what is offered mainstream and that is it. That being said I did find many things to enjoy here,Michelle Pfeiffer's return to center stage is both refreshing and remarkable. She really brings her character to life as a older woman who falls for a much younger man. Much like Stephen Frears' previous effort, this is captivating and emotional,Chéri and Lea are two characters who you care about right from the start, you really want the best for these two people. The film depends a lot on emotions and atmosphere to really tell the story and the cinematography is so breath-taking that it manages to bring out a lot of both all on by itself. The film is a love story with with comedy early on and as the story moves along it takes a more serious tone. Much of the humor is provided by Kathy Bates who plays the odd, high spirited mother. On paper the story is a simple one but with characters and situations that are both complex the story becomes much bigger. Like I stated before this may not be a film for everyone but if you enjoy a good period piece then I would recommend picking this up. Cheri is feast for the eyes as well as being funny,touching,romantic and even seductive. A delight I certainly enjoyed watching.
Released by Miramax Home Entertainment
**** Out Of *****