Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous Liaisons 1988 Movie Poster

Dangerous Liaisons was an award winning 1988 historical drama that starred Glenn Close as Marquise de Mertuil, John Malkovich as Vicomte de Valmont, Michelle Pfieffer as Madame de Tourvel, Keanu Reeves as Le Chevalier Raphael Danceny, and Uma Thurman as Cecile de Volanges.  The movie received positive reviews upon its release and was a financial success.

This movie is like Desperate Housewives for 18th century French aristocrats.  It basically revolves around two rich, arrogant aristocrats, who delight in destroying the lives of others.  For example, Marquise de Metruil (Close) uses sex to goad and manipulate the men in her life.  To seek revenge against one love in particular named Bayside, she vows to manipulate his virgin fiancé, Cecile (played by Thurman), into losing her virginity to another man before Bayside can marry her.

Employing the help of her friend, Vicomte de Valmont (Malkovich), Valmont gains access to Cecil’s bed chamber by delivering love letters from Cecile’s piano teacher, Le Chevalier Raphael (Reeves), and then Valmont rapes her.  As time goes on, the scheming, conniving, and sexual bargaining continues amongst the main characters, until in the end all plots are publicly uncovered, and Valmont is killed in a duel and Mertuil publicly disgraced.