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A Good Marriage

(Le beau mariage)
France 1982. Dir: Eric Rohmer. 97 min. DCP

Béatrice Romand, once the adolescent ingénue of Rohmer’s Claire’s Knee, is now a sophisticated young woman with matrimony on the mind in A Good Marriage, Rohmer’s charming second chapter in the Comedies and Proverbs cycle. Twentysomething art-history student Sabine (Romand), fed up with being the mistress to a married Parisian painter, shocks her paramour — and then her best friend (peppy Arielle Dombasle) and family — with news of her impending marriage. To whom? She doesn’t yet know. But her friend’s lawyer cousin, met briefly at a party, seems to satisfy the knot-tying criteria. Operating under the idiom “Can any of us refrain from building castles in Spain?”, Rohmer fashions in the character of Sabine one of his most endearing, contradictory comic heroines: impulsive yet pragmatic, naïve yet acutely self-aware. Romand’s tightrope performance deservedly won acclaim and a prize at Venice. “The best film of the year” (Andrew Sarris, Village Voice).

 

REVIEWS

"The humor exists on a very fine line between sharp satire and acute embarrassment ... A comedy in the classic sense."

Chicago Reader | full review

"One of Mr. Rohmer's most charming and, in some ways, most compact comedies ... A witty, halcyon entertainment."

New York Times | full review