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Love in the Afternoon

aka Chloe in the Afternoon (L’amour l’après-midi)
France 1972. Dir: Eric Rohmer. 97 min. DCP

The sun-lit, seductive final chapter of Rohmer’s miraculous Moral Tales concerns Frédéric (Bernard Verley), a successful professional man who — unlike the male protagonists of the other Tales — is married, and happily. He’s also consumed by sexual fantasies about other women, but convinced this is healthy for his marriage and his emotional balance. Upsetting that balance is alluring Chloe (Zouzou), who offers Frédéric a terrifyingly real choice: actual extra-marital sex! Meanwhile, Frédéric's wife Hélène (Françoise Verley) contemplates an affair of her own. In a charming touch, the film features cameos from the female leads of the previous Moral Tales; they appear as the women Frédéric fantasizes about. Frédéric and Hélène are played by an actual married couple (a typical example of Rohmer's scrupulous attention to detail), while Paris is lovingly captured in the luminous cinematography of Rohmer and Truffaut regular Nestor Almendros.

REVIEWS

"A formal, elegant examination of someone puzzled by marital fidelity ... Wonderfully cool and lucid."

Time Out | full review

"A comedy of very funny, complex contradictions, between action and word, between image and sound."

New York Times | full review