Dangerous Liaisons

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 45
  2. Negative: 3 out of 45

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User Reviews

  1. Nov 25, 2012
    6
    First of all, no offence, but calling John Malkovich
  2. PatC.
    Jan 13, 2004
    7
    An adept but unmemorable plot. The one unforgettable thing is the tragedy and waste of life that emerges when people have too much wealth and too much free time on their hands.
  3. RachelS.
    May 12, 2006
    10
    Simply the truest reflection of the battle of the sexes that there has ever been.
  4. DerrickW.
    Dec 16, 2004
    6
    Considering that 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' by Choderlos de Laclos is perhaps my favorite novel (or tied, at least, with 'The Island of the Day Before' by Umberto Eco), I would probably be expected to rate Dangerous Liaisons with a nine, at least, yet I could not do so in good conscience. Frankly, I find this film to be something of an insult. Anybody who has read the Considering that 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' by Choderlos de Laclos is perhaps my favorite novel (or tied, at least, with 'The Island of the Day Before' by Umberto Eco), I would probably be expected to rate Dangerous Liaisons with a nine, at least, yet I could not do so in good conscience. Frankly, I find this film to be something of an insult. Anybody who has read the novel understands that its brilliant rests in the sublte nuances of dialogue between the vicomte and the marquise and of de Laclos's familiarity and analysis with the unspoken aspects of falling in love, not to mention the eloquence of the writing itself. Unfortunately, very little of the novel's charm shines through in Dangerous Liaisons. The film's attempts to recreate the wit of the novel often seem stale or childish and, worse yet, the the film fails to build up to its rising action and climax, almost assuming that the viewer already knows the story. Before the film properly introduces the characters, already they're making wagers, and how could the beautiful young presidente de tourvel possibly fall in love with such a clumsy snob. How, in fact, could anybody fall in love with a Vicomte de Valmont as played by John Malkovich. Although a spectacular actor, Malkovich would come across more natural in a suit or a tank top, something a bit more masculine; the character of Valmont requires somebody more charming, not only to make the costumes work, but to correctly portray the persona. Watching Malkovich in the role of Valmont is not unlike watching Alan Greenspan dance the Macaraina in short-shorts and a Wham shirt. For that matter, how is the the viewer expected to believe that Uma Thurman is a fifteen year-old ingenue just out of a convent, and that Valmont is really so desparate to go to bed with Glenn Close after having Thurman? The film's saving grace in this regard would certainly be Michelle Pfeiffer who was not only the proper age for her role, but as also able to adapt to her character. Also, Kiannu Reeves as the Chevalier Danceny has probably been his best role to date, although that's not saying a whole lot. Although Dangerous Liaisons fails to live up to the novel of its origin in most respects, the scenery and costumes were beautifully designed. Since Les Liaisons Dangereuses was an epistolary novel, giving de Laclos no reason to go into detail about clothing and furniture, the artists had a fair amount of liberty, and they did spectacular work with it. Anybody interested in the French Baroque period or interior design should find at least some pleasure in watching this film, and even the average viewer should be mildly entertained. Fans of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, however, may be disappointed. Basing a film on a book is a bit like matching black clothing: if you can't do it perfectly, don't do it at all. -derrick P.S. If you happen to purchase the film on DVD, beware: it's the 1997 release is really not of the highest quality. Expand
  5. Heki00
    Sep 19, 2004
    10
    Can it be more dangerous? This story will repeat itself even for a 50 years. Let's just say that the acting of Malkovich (and Close) is astonishing...
  6. majce00
    Sep 19, 2004
    10
    It is THE most beatiful story I evr heard and seen. The acting of John Malkovich, and then everybody else is just perfect.
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. The New Republic
    Reviewed by: Stanley Kauffmann
    50
    The disaster is John Malkovich in the key role of Valmont... From the moment he steps out of a carriage at the start, he walks and gestures like Malkovich. He has done nothing to bring himself to the part, not even bothering to learn how to pronounce "mademoiselle." ("Madam-uhzell," says M.) [2 Jan 1989, p.24]
  2. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    An excellent film. [16 Jan 1989, p.64]
  3. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    The distanced result, screen-adapted by playwright Christopher Hampton, never quite overwhelms you. [21 Dec 1988, Life, p.1D]