The French art-house movie, ROMANCE, wants desperately to be thought of as avant-garde sexual erotica, but all it manages to do is become a fourth-rate, pretentious piece of feminist pornography. A young teacher’s sexual advances to are inexplicably spurned by her live-in boyfriend, so she engages in a graphic series of sexual misadventures. Quicker than you can say, “Larry Flynt is a creep,” she ends up being bound and gagged by her school’s principal, who claims to have slept with 10,000 women. Eventually, she becomes pregnant by her boyfriend, but he is killed, perhaps even murdered, by a strange explosion as soon as the woman gives birth in gruesome detail.
The director of this movie, Catherine Breillat (Bray-yat), has claimed that nothing is forbidden in art and all is permitted. If that is the case, then what’s to stop a neo-Nazi sado-masochist from plying his trade at the local foreign movie house down the street? Apparently, nothing.
The curiosity factor is liable to give ROMANCE a small but insignificant push at the box office. The fact, however, that the major art house theater in Los Angeles booked this trash for two solid weeks is a barometer of how low the independent film community has sunk. To paraphrase an old saying, “The people get the kind of cinema they deserve.”
Humanist worldview with elements of pseudo-intellectual feminist sexual theories & anti-biblical immorality; 27 obscenities & no profanities plus much discussion about sex & private body parts; graphic birthing scene, man apparently murdered by explosion of some kind & sado-masochistic chains & ropes used to bind & gag female protagonist; imnplied sado-masochistic sex, woman tells male lover she is married to her boyfriend, co-habitation between unmarried couple, unmarried couple cheats on one another, graphic depicted fornication, masturbation, oral sex, anal rape, male ejaculation, & much sexual perversion; full male & female nudity in many scenes; alcohol use & drunkenness, and smoking.