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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5%
Worth A Look: 0%
Just Average: 15%
Pretty Crappy45%
Sucks: 35%

2 reviews, 8 user ratings

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Affair of the Necklace, The
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by Carina Hoskisson

"A great story with lousy execution"
2 stars

I’m guilty: getting pissy about a movie because it wasn’t historically accurate enough. Maybe if The Affair of the Necklace was a little bit MORE inaccurate, it would have been interesting. Actually, strike that, The Affair isn’t lukewarm because of its historical content, it’s boring for the most basic of reasons: a shoddy script, miscasting, non-linear storytelling at the wrong points, and ludicrous directorial decisions. For all of The Affair’s star power and great story, the movie is wasted potential…

The script itself holds a juicy premise: France on the cusp of revolution, a wronged aristocrat trying to regain the crown’s favor through intrigue and court machinations. Countess Jeanne de Valois (Hillary Swank) whose family lost their estate and fell into ruin twenty years before, has returned to the French court to petition for the return of her rightful lands. Jeanne’s naïve attempts to persuade the self-involved Marie Antoinette (Joely Richardson,) Queen of all France, fail miserably.
The Countess falls into the company of a handsome gigolo (Simon Brady) who will teach her the subtleties of royal intrigue. Together, fighting all the odds, and with the help of the three musketeers, they’ll try to regain Jeanne’s lost honor by stealing a necklace (ok, so I made up the three musketeers part, but the rest stands.) Along the way they will battle foes foreign and domestic, clerical and secular, and engage in some movie-of-the-week sex.
Swank, for all her doe-eyed-ness and Brady, for all his tasty potential, have absolutely no chemistry. Not a good thing when half the motivation for these characters is to be so passionately in love that they will endanger the monarchy to attain their goals. In fact, The Affair of The Necklace boasts a stunning cast brimming with Oscar winners: Jonathon Pryce, Christopher Walken, Simon Brady, Brian Cox, Joely Richardson, Adrien Brody, Hillary Swank, etc. ad nauseum.
Almost all of these actors have earned my personal respect on previous projects, and if you were going on star power alone you’d want to rent The Affair. However, one is never quite sure if these actors are playing their parts for camp value or are serious at emoting their camp-osity.

The best thing about The Affair of The Necklace is Joely Richardson’s Marie Antoinette. Richardson plays a role that could have easily been a villain with a dry wit, and enchanting energy. Let’s say it, she just plain glows. Swank on the other hand, is so terribly earnest, so somber in reflection, it just drains the life out of what could have been delightful and zesty intrigue of the highest-rate.

Really, the whole thing is a disappointment. Perhaps the first indication that The Affair will not be a good film is the ever present narration. Narration usually means you can’t pull your story together enough in the visual elements, dialogue or acting. Boy is this movie a case in point. The action goes slo-mo in the most cliché places. The flashbacks are ill-timed and strangely edited. The director had so many great opportunities to make an interesting and engaging film and failed on so many levels--I honestly felt like I was watching a Hallmark Channel production. On the plus side, The Affair of The Necklace is well-photographed with some beautiful art direction. But as we’ve learned before, art direction can’t save a drowning movie.

I can’t help but think that a remake of this movie might be a great deal of fun. If you could correct the casting and tighten up the story, The Affair of The Necklace could be in the same league as Dangerous Liaisons. However, in its current state, The Affair will remain wasted potential. Rated “R” for cheesy sex scenes and some requisite period bare-breasted ribaldry.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5643&reviewer=44
originally posted: 11/02/04 19:04:32
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User Comments

6/30/07 johnnyfog Godawful, postering, soapy period piece crap. A joke! 2 stars
8/19/06 Anastasia Beaverhausen Miscast but still grand entertainment; finally a good Shyer film 5 stars
6/07/06 Ashley Hinz What was this meant to be? 1 stars
9/25/04 Tor Honolulu Adrien Brody'e ten minutes aside, this was pretty painful 2 stars
4/28/03 Goofy Maxwell Cunning bitch restores bloodline & faces murderous, cowardly pack only to unleash another. 3 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink Everyone familiar with the true story knows it should've been done as a comedy. Swank's OK 3 stars
12/01/01 Mr Math So did the completed screening. I don't see Kate Beckinsdale as the next big thing. 2 stars
11/27/01 bradgray96 The unfinished screening at the Seattle Film Festival ran a bit long and dry. 3 stars
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  30-Nov-2001 (R)



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