Thursday, August 26, 2010

#20. Chloe in the Afternoon (1972)

DVD Synopsis: A successful young executive, though happily married, finds himself fantasizing about every woman he passes on the street. He is really put to the test when Chloe, a bohemian drifter, re-enters his life. He seems to have the best of both worlds until the one day when Chloe confesses he’s the only man for her. Chloe in the Afternoon is a delightful comedy that explores the conflicts of moral and emotional commitment.

Chloe in the Afternoon is about the fear of commitment, which, as director Eric Rohmer successfully conveys, doesn’t diminish once the wedding rings are exchanged. The protagonist, a man with a young child at home and another on the way, has been married for some time, and is content. Yet he cannot shake the feeling that he’s missing out on something. Sure, he loves his wife, but there might just be another woman out there he could love more. 

It’s this distinctive approach to the question of fidelity and obligation that makes Chloe in the Afternoon so refreshing. Unlike most romantic films, this one doesn’t assume marriage is a resolute foundation on which a “happily ever after” existence is built. It is, instead, a continuation, a fork on the road of self discovery that's plagued by the same insecurities and fears life before marriage presented.

Chloe in the Afternoon is engaging, tasteful, and really quite honest.


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