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Cheri (2009)

Michelle Pfeiffer , Rupert Friend , Stephen Frears  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Cheri Cheri 3.8 out of 5 stars (48)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Kathy Bates, Frances Tomelty, Tom Burke
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Writers: Christopher Hampton, Colette
  • Producers: Andras Hamori, Bastian Griese, Bill Kenwright, Cameron McCracken, Christopher Hampton
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002K0WBXM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,062 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cheri" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Filled with luxurious gowns and lush grounds, Stephen Frears's Colette adaptation depicts an affair too perfect to last. Parisian courtesan Lea de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer) retains her good looks and has invested her earnings wisely, so her colleague, Madame Peloux (Kathy Bates), persuades Lea to celebrate the inception of her retirement by teaching the Madame’s self-centered son, Chéri (Rupert Friend, recalling T.Rex's tousle-haired Marc Bolan), how to treat a lady. Lea, who has known Chéri his entire life, has genuine affection for the unformed lad, although, as she quips, "I can't criticize his character, mainly because he doesn't seem to have one." To her surprise, their weekend in Normandy turns into a six-year-relationship. Then, Madame Peloux announces that she has found an appropriate 18-year-old bride for her now-reformed 25-year-old boy. Afraid to admit the depth of their feelings for each other, the duo grudgingly goes along with the plan since Belle Époque society demands that a proper gentleman marry a proper lady, and Lea realizes that matrimony to a man half her age isn't an option. But real love--even the co-dependent kind--can't be banished quite so easily as a bad habit. Frears and Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton, adapting Chéri and The Last of Chéri, previously collaborated with Pfeiffer on Dangerous Liaisons, but their reunion is a comparatively somber affair that comes recommended more for fans of the actress, who gives the role her all, than for fans of the filmmaker, whose direction feels perfunctory, particularly during the blink-and-you'll-miss-it epilogue. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Stephen Frears… makes thoroughly professional and immensely entertaining stories that pay particular attention to characters, their flaws, emotions and deepest desires. In Cheri, he has another dandy.  The chemistry between Pfeiffer and Friend is positively combustible. One feels the hunger in each, the rising physical passion and emotional vulnerability in two people who, if asked, would scorn love as a human weakness.

Darius Khondji’s mood-catching cinematography, Consolata Boyle’s eye-catching costumes and Alan MacDonald’s gorgeous sets are all entertainment in themselves. But the greatest contribution comes from composer Alexandre Desplat whose nostalgic, romantic, melancholy score evokes the period perfectly.
                                                                                                            - Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thematically True and Tragic December 10, 2009
This film is fine. It belongs in the canon of great movie classics because it stays thematically true to Colette's vision of a culture full of witty flippancy without sacrificing the profundities of love and intimate bonding between two people. I agree with many reviewers that Michelle Pfeiffer may appear too thin (although quite lovely to look at) or that Kathy Bates overacts and doesn't seem well-suited for her part. But these flaws are small and trivial in comparison to the huge canvas on screen showing the historical Age of the Belle Epoque and revealing the central drama of love between an older, experienced woman and courtesan and an innocent but hedonistic young man. What Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend manage to create together on screen is the love that Colette wanted her readers to understand and experience, however odd and even tasteless it may seem on first glance, and that love story unfolds beautifully on screen, although tragically, for both. It's a memorable film and makes you want to read Colette's novels. It was also quite lovely to experience vicariously two people on screen loving each other throughout difficulties and watch them sensually appreciate the loveliness of each other's looks as well, directly, without pretense, tenderly and without reserve, where the outer and the inner person for the other were one.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Story Told So Well March 25, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Colette would have approved. Despite some uneven casting, "Cheri" ultimately works onscreen. Kathy Bates is terribly miscast and misdirected. Michelle Pfeiffer struggles in the beginning, but ends up breaking your heart. Surprisingly it is the newcomer Rupert Friend (real-life boyfriend of Keira Knightley) as "Cheri" who is the glue that holds the piece together. He takes the viewer on a remarkable journey through the selfish psyche of a young man lost in a world he thinks he knows all too well. He shows us the callousness of a young spoiled rascal in the milleu of the Belle Epoque of courtesans and opium. It is Cheri who keeps us guessing as to what is going to happen. Pfeiffer ruins the surprise because a third of the way through she is already playing the ending.

I argued with a friend of mine who didn't think Pfeiffer was a convincing prostitute. But in the Belle Epoque, these women were not mere mortals. Kings gave their kingdoms away for the love of such beauties. And Pfeiffer is certainly in that category. Plus she does play the dichotomy in her character: a woman who loves Cheri as both a mother and a lover.

I can tell you're interested. I'll write no more, except to say, as I always say, take a chance on love. It's well worth it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyed Cheri November 25, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie Cheri, based on Colette's novel, is a rich and satisfying romance. I enjoyed the fabulous costumes, and the attention to detail in the historic settings. There are fine performances by all of the actors, and of course Michelle Pfeiffer is stunningly beautiful.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but too skinny!!! September 25, 2009
After all the critical acclaim this movie received i was looking forward to see this movie.
The story was quite good,the acting too,the music was particularly nice also.
Michelle Pfeiffer is beautiful but unfortunately i thought that she looked painfully thin and the dresses she wore seemed to just hang on her ,women in that era were quite plump and i just did not see her as a believable courtisane.
Cathy Bates was miscast in this role i feel.She was badly overacting and i think they should have used an english actress to play the part, maybe Emma Thomson or Miranda Richardson.
Rupert Friend was good and believable in the part and i see a great future for him at the movies.
Don't get me wrong it wasn't unpleasant but but it could have been so much better.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Filmmaking With Great Stars July 7, 2009
A rapture of visual, audio and cinematic emotional brilliance all tied with a killer last line. What a wonder is set before the viewer when one enters the world of "Cheri".
The visual richness of this parfait of the Belle Epoch is breathtaking from the rich creamy art neuveau architecture to the gloriously realized costumes of the early 20th century. What they only indicated in "Titanic" of the same period costumes. Explodes in luxury and in a sense informs the eye to the scene at hand and seems less costume than authentic clothing.
As Cinema "Cheri" succeeds as more than an adaptation of a Collette novel but becomes a world unto it's own. Here we are presented with some of our finest female performers at the top of their game. In short I am speaking of Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates. As former courtesan rivals who are now aging friends they come together to define the last part of their lives and the beginning of Bates' son's life in a remarkable way.
Kathy Bates goes deep into the complexities of her mix of comedy and nuanced drama in the same way she did with Annie Wilkes. Not to say that the characters of Annie and Madame Peloux are anything alike. But Miss Bates takes this role to a superior level while all the while not letting you see her do her magic. She is just THERE! The scene where her face decays from a radioactively sunny laugh to reveal her true deepest disgust her spoiled soul is priceless.
Then there is Michelle Pfeiffer as Lea de Lonval, at fifty one she may be older that the literary Lea but she has never been more luminous or nearly goddess like. To look at her is to look upon a woman of a certain age that is ageless in her embrace of times changing hands upon her face. But there is more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
This is for adults only. It is a very interesting movie about a French courtesan who takes a younger. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Kathleen Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Cherie
I love this movie. It very much like the novelette by Colette. Good quality move. It was wonderful. I would recommend it
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Was I charged for it? Please some one let me know as I have no idea when it was even purchased!
Published 2 months ago by Kate Mulligan
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie
This is one of my most favorite movies. I have watched it many times. It's romantic but sad. I love the love they shared.
Published 4 months ago by SM
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Not a bad movie, not an Oscar winner either. We did enjoy it, however. Michelle Pheiffer is always great and she does not disappoint here.
Published 6 months ago by J. Cira
5.0 out of 5 stars cheri miss pleiffer wow
different type moving the stars were great I could watch it over and over would like to buy movie thanks
Published 7 months ago by pat
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst
This is like a terrible french film with no redeeming qualties. Michelle is gorgeous usual, Cheri or actor Rupert Friend is also beautiful. Read more
Published 8 months ago by LightLiveLove
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Drama
I have always liked Michele Pfeiffer, she brings a lot of heart to her roles. This movie wasn't promoted a lot when it came out and i always wanted to see it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ekayen Essien
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, the wonderful world of the courtesan
Ah, I love, love Colette. She is one of my favorite writers, they don't make them like her anymore. The sensual touch of words slips not from her lips, but unto paper and it makes... Read more
Published 10 months ago by N. D'arcy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
A good movie based on a book by Colette. It is set in the late 1800's mostly in Paris. The acting by Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates and Rupert Friend (now famous for his role in... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Marie Antoinette
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