Director: Catherine Breillat
Starring: Caroline Ducey, Rocco Siffredi, François Berléand, Sagamore Stévenin
Duration: 99 min.
Marie is unfulfilled by her relationship with Paul, her narcissistic male model boyfriend who refuses to show her any kind of physical affection, much less make love to her. Frustrated, she decides to take matters into her own hands, and search for intimacy beyond the bounds of traditional sexual limitations, a journey that proves to be both fulfilling and empowering.
Romance is a controversial film written and directed by Catherine Breillat. It is known mostly for the casting of porn actor Rocco Siffredi, and for scenes of explicit unsimulated sex.
It is the story of Marie (Caroline Ducey) stuck in a passionless relationship with Paul (Sagamore Stévenin) who goes on a quest of sexual enlightenment. Despite the nudity and graphic scenes, the situations aren't very erotic. All throughout we hear Marie's thoughts to herself as she willingly goes from one encounter to the next, analyzing and philosophizing about her individual role and feelings as she acts out her fantasies.
As a story this one isn't very well executed, in fact it's very boring, made worse by having characters that are very difficult to care about. However Breillat does provide some fascinating insight into the female psyche, and she definitely has a way for getting fantastic performances from actors in unconventional situations. Ducey's brave performance in particular conveys a wide range of emotions very realistically. Other than that, there's nothing here to recommend.
— Bonjour Tristesse