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Running Time:
118 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This is a dull but sophisticated comedy of manners about the cultural differences between the French and the Americans. It's is beautifully photographed, but not very satisfying.

Le Divorce
This contemporary Merchant/Ivory film, sports a gigantic cast of underused supporting players, It's based on Diane Johnson's best-selling novel about two half-sisters; Roxeanne (Naomi Watts), who's supposedly happily married in Paris, and Isabel (Kate Hudson) who's about to arrive from America. Just as Isabel get out of the taxi at her sister's apartment, Roxanne's husband Charles-Henri (Melvil Poupaud), is leaving to go off with his latest lover. Roxanne already has a daughter and another baby on the way, and now must deal with her emotional devastation and difficult French divorce proceedings, so Isabel finds herself a job, sorting the papers of a famous American author, Olivia Pace (Glenn Close). She also acquires a young lover (Romain Duris) and a much older lover, Edgar (Thierry Lhermitte), a married diplomat who just happens to the uncle of Roxy's departed husband. Edgar's sister is Suzanne de Persand (Leslie Caron) Roxy's mother-in-law. Suzanne is offended by her brother's affair and tries to do everything in her power to end it. And then there's the complication of the French divorce proceedings concerning a painting that Roxy had brought with her from her family's Santa Barbara home. Numerous art experts, including Bebe Neuwith and Steven Fry let her know that her painting is probably worth a fortune, and there's much ado about whether it can remain the property of Roxanne's family or whether it will become part of the divorce settlement. Then Roxy attempts suicide, her parents (Sam Waterston and Stockard Channing) arrive from America with her annoying brother (Thomas Lennon). Another odd character who keeps popping up throughout the film is a stalker who claims to be an entertainment lawyer (Matthew Modine). He is the jealous husband of the woman that Charles-Henri is now living with. The beautful Paris locales and the many fine actors are pleasant to watch for awhile, but they're not nearly enough to keep this latest Merchant/Ivory film involving for almost two hours.

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