THE HOUSEKEEPER is a French character study about a middle-aged recording engineer, Jacques, whose wife left him for another man. Jacques gets fed up with his dirty apartment, so he hires a young woman, Laura, to be his housekeeper. When Laura’s boyfriend kicks her out, Jacques lets her stay at his place for a few days until she finds something else. Soon, however, Laura offers herself to Jacques, and Jacques accepts her offer. They establish a romantic relationship where Jacques slowly succumbs to Laura’s demands for a stronger commitment – short of marriage, of course.
Their growing relationship is interrupted, however, when Jacques wife, Constance, tells him that she wants him back. Jacques and Laura decide to escape for a vacation to his friend’s place in Brittany on the coast. Laura pushes Jacques into an even closer bond with her, but when he agrees, she suddenly cuckolds him again, leaving him shell-shocked.
In THE HOUSEKEEPER, writer and director Claude Berri takes a close-up view of the subtle stages of a contemporary romantic relationship in France. It’s a May-September romance, however, that gives the movie a fair amount of originality. Ultimately, although the movie shows the shallowness of such a relationship, especially one that breaks God’s sexual laws, the story and characters probably are not worth the time it takes to learn that.
The ending to THE HOUSEKEEPER is full of irony. Jacques seems stunned and surprised to realize that, eventually, he cared more about their relationship than Laura really did, despite her youthful protestations of love. He also seems stunned and surprised to realize that his first inkling about their affair, that it would go nowhere because of their age difference, was correct after all. In the final analysis, the ending shows viewers that feelings of loneliness should not be assuaged by jumping into bed with the first available person who comes along in your life.
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SUMMARY: THE HOUSEKEEPER is a French character study about a middle-aged recording engineer, who gets involved with his new, much younger, housekeeper, after his wife leaves him for another man. Although the movie shows the shallowness of such a relationship, especially one that breaks God’s sexual laws, the story and characters probably are not worth the time it takes to learn that.
(H, B, L, SS, NN, A, D, M) Ironic humanist worldview with some possible moral lessons within it; six obscenities; no violence; nude couple embraces passionately in bed and implied fornication; brief upper female nudity, upper male nudity, female cleavage, and women in bikinis; alcohol use; smoking; and, betrayal, cheating and middle-aged man accepts sexual advances of young woman.