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With: Bernard Verley, Zouzou, Fran�oise Verley, Daniel Ceccaldi, Malvina Penne, Babette Ferrier
Written by: Eric Rohmer
Directed by: Eric Rohmer
MPAA Rating: R
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 97
Date: 03/18/2013

Chloe in the Afternoon (1972)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

'Afternoon' Delight

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The final entry in Eric Rohmer's "Six Moral Tales" series (also known as Love in the Afternoon), this one deals with Frédéric (Bernard Verley), an office manager completely entrenched in his own bourgeois existence. He ruminates about being in love with his pregnant wife, Hélène (Françoise Verley), but can't stop wondering about other women. In a fantasy sequence, he imagines being able to take away women's will power so that he can do as he pleases. Enter Chloé (Zouzou, a sometime model and famous rock groupie), a bohemian type who does do exactly as she pleases. An ex-girlfriend of one of Frédéric's old pals, she insinuates herself into his life. Chloé is the movie's center; she's sexy in a playful, yet powerful, way. Frédéric announces that he will not be seduced, but Chloé keeps upping the stakes, playing with his lust and emotions like a cat with a string. As bland as Frédéric is, he keeps re-analyzing the situation at every turn, attempting to look at both his wife and Chloé in the current moment. Rohmer treats the material with his usual unobtrusive grace and intelligence, with emotionally realistic dialogue and always the proper camera setup. I suppose the ultimate point is whether or not Frédéric gives in, but the ride itself is quite fascinating. (Note: In 2007, Chris Rock will be releasing a remake entitled I Think I Love My Wife.)

DVD Details: Chloe in the Afternoon is available in Fox Lorber's ultra-cheap DVD, pressed in the late 90s with poor-to-middling quality, or in a new, expensive 2006 box set from the Criterion Collection, which also includes the other "Moral Tales": The Girl at the Monceau Bakery (1963), Suzanne's Career (1963), La Collectionneuse (1967), My Night at Maud's (1969) and Claire's Knee (1970).

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