26 March 2002 | dbdumonteil
Not so famous!
Outside the first sketch,featuring Lauzun,Mesdames de Monaco,Montespan and La Vallière,and the Sun King in the flesh,these love affairs,notwithstanding the title ,are not that much famous,even for the European audience.This is a rather mediocre program,which boasts a lot of French stars but which does not deliver the goods.
The first one takes us in Versailles ,at the time of Louis XIV,the Sun King.As for the footnotes in history are concerned,you'll always be better off with Sacha Guitry's "si Versailles m'était conté" or "si Paris m'était conté".This sinister amorous anecdote wastes both Jean-Paul Belmondo(Lauzun) and Philippe Noiret (His Majesty).This is the only one which justify the title,though.
The second one is the story of Jenny Lacour ,a courtesan from the end of the nineteenth century who throws acid at her unfaithful lover.Two good actors -Simone Signoret and Pierre Vaneck-cannot save the rather tepid directing.It looks like a poor man's Guy de Maupassant.
The third one is the most entertaining if by no means enthralling:the action takes place in Bayern in the Middle Ages where a maiden (Brigitte Bardot!!!) seduces a prince (Alain Delon).But it's not Cinderella all over again because the young man's wicked father is watchful,and the story will tragically end.Brigitte Bardot is miscast as the lead but nowadays,it's for her that most of the people will see the whole movie.There's a good supporting cast,with Suzanne Flon playing some kind of Godmother -but without a magic wand-,and Jean-Claude Brialy as an invert,the only unusual thing in a routine story.
The fourth one takes us to Napoleon's reign.Rivalry between two thespians (Edwige Feuillère and Annie Girardot)in Talma theater.
The movie made up of sketches is,in France, Julien Duvivier's field.Boisrond is no match for him and his movie can easily be dismissed.