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Movie Review

Chéri a.k.a. “Cheri”

MPAA Rating: R for some sexual content and brief drug use.

Reviewed by: Eric Hernandez
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance, Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
2009
USA Release:
June 26, 2009
DVD: October 20, 2009
Copyright, Miramax Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Miramax Films Copyright, Miramax Films Copyright, Miramax Films Copyright, Miramax Films Copyright, Miramax Films Copyright, Miramax Films Copyright, Miramax Films Copyright, Miramax Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Miramax Films

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Prostitution

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Fornication

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Rupert Friend, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Felicity Jones, Frances Tomelty, Anita Pallenberg, Harriet Walter, Iben Hjejle, Bette Bourne, Gaye Brown, Tom Burke, Natasha Cashman, Andras Hamori, Toby Kebbell, Nichola McAuliffe, Joe Sheridan, Hubert Tellegen, Jack Walker, Rollo Weeks, Stephen Frears
Director: Stephen Frear
Producer: Miramax Films, Pathé, UK Film Council, Aramid Entertainment Fund, MMC Independent, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutsche Filmförderfonds (DFFF), Tiggy Films, Bill Kenwright Films, Reliant Pictures, Firstep Productions, Raphaël Benoliel, Raphaël Benoliel, Simon Fawcett, Marco Gilles, Bastian Griese, Andras Hamori, Christopher Hampton, François Ivernel, Bill Kenwright, Jessica Lange, Daniel Mann, Cameron McCracken, Thom Mount, Ralf Schmitz, Tracey Seaward, Richard Temple
Distributor: Miramax Films

“In a game of seduction, never fall in love.”

Going into “Chéri”, I knew next to nothing about the movie, only that it was a period piece starring Michelle Pfeiffer and that its director Stephen Frears had made the excellent 2006 movie “The Queen,” which I highly recommend. Being such a fan of that movie, I was shocked by the immorality of the content present in “Chéri,” so much so that I would have walked out of the theater had I not been assigned this movie to review. Perhaps this was ignorance on my part, but I was hoping that a costume drama set in the 1920s would be fairly clean. I was wrong.

The film takes place in 1920s Paris, where a middle-aged woman named Lea de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer) is considering retiring from her job as a courtesan. However, another courtesan, her enemy-turned-friend Madame Peloux (Kathy Bates) approaches her one day, encouraging Lea to educate her free-spirited, 19 year-old son Cheri (Rupert Friend) about the ways of women. The two end up falling in love, and begin a scandalous affair.

Had I seen that plot summary, I would not have gone to see “Chéri” without further researching whether or not the subject was dealt with in an appropriate manner. I can assure you, it was not. There are multiple sex scenes between Lea and Cheri, complete with graphic movement and action. Male and female nudity was also present throughout. The fact that Lea is 50 and Cheri is still a teenager adds another level of immorality to the story. The MPAA rating description of “some sexual content” is very misleading.

There is also a graphic scene of characters snorting cocaine, and the use of drugs is discussed throughout the movie. There is no violence to be found in “Chéri,” and one solitary exclamation of “God.”

The Bible speaks of sex as a wonderful thing, devoting an entire book to praising it (Song of Solomon). Sex is only wonderful, though, when it happens between a married man and woman. Proverbs 5:18–20 says,

“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress and embrace the bosom of a foreigner?”

Beautiful photography and costumes sadly are wasted in a movie brimming with inappropriate content. I went in expecting a good old-fashioned period piece, and instead was met with a trashy and immoral story that happened to be set in the olden days. I can in no way recommend “Chéri” for viewing.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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