Bel Ami Reviews
What could be hotter than a bed-hopping bodice-ripper in which the movie hunk of the moment plows through three of the sexiest actresses of the 1990s? Most everything, it turns out.
The women are all elegant and intelligent, they know the ways of the world, and they know Georges' history. Why do they find him attractive? We don't, and that failure is the downfall of the film.
The supposedly cunning protagonist registers as a cipher, and the directors' tendency to shoot dialogue scenes in close-up blunts any understanding of the social milieu he's trying to conquer.
Based on Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel, Bel Ami is the meandering, unfocused tale of the rise of an unprincipled opportunist in the upper class circles of late 19th century Paris.
Pattinson portrays a man who has no moral code and gets to have tons of sex, with various women of smart Parisian society, played by the likes of Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristen Scott Thomas. Yet mysteriously, the tedium continues.
Intriguing political aspects of the story involving military designs on Morocco and the influence of the media would have more resonance if the human drama had more heft.
Unfortunately the rather ludicrous camp characteristics of the story, such as Uma Thurman rolling around on Egyptian cotton sheets shouting "Look at the grain exports to Algiers!" are never fully recognised...