17 thoughts on “SNARK WEEK: Valmont (1989) – Meh?



    Ok, to recap:

    The rampant abuse of crafter’s lace should get this movie listed in the Frock Flicks Hall of Shame, along with the shitty fabrics overall. Movies don’t have to used real silks, but just don’t use crap that LOOKS so gawd-awful shiny & thin & pathetic. Kendra, you’re the fiber snob, I shouldn’t have to manufacture indignation for you here!

    And corsets! ‘Amadeus’ may have been about too much boob, but this movie is weirdly prudish in the costumes, but skeezy in the storyline. Kendra, I need more balanced disgust from you here. What’s your motivation?

    Finally, that is all you can say about the Great Tragedy of the Valmont Hair? What about your reputation, girl? I want a wailing & gnashing of teeth over all that bad, bad hair. Instead, it feels like an afterthought.

    I expect much more snark from you, young lady! Don’t make me tie you down & make you watch Braveheart.

    1. BUT THAT’S THE PROBLEM! I wasn’t outraged! YOU promised that this was going to be a trainwreck. And sure, compared to Dangerous Liaisons, it was, costume-wise. But, I was entertained, and I actually LIKED some of the costumes, either aesthetically and/or historically.

      Meanwhile, Amadeus, which you LURVE, didn’t have ANYTHING I liked. Maybe the “Turkish” dress on the opera singer, but that’s a maybe.

      Also, I disagree that all of the fabrics were total crap! Okay yes, a few of them were (Merteuil’s brown dress, Tourvel’s white dress). But otherwise, they looked like quality to me!

      Maybe I just haven’t gotten enough sleep lately to muster enough outrage?

      1. I’m with Trystan too. The first time I ever saw Valmont, I had just seen DL so it was going to be hard to impress me, even at the tender age of 14. And Valmont really bored me. I expected something more… entertaining… from the guy who brought us Amadeus. In fact, Valmont bored me so much I couldn’t even remember a single thing about it, except that I saw it.

        Many years later, I rewatched Valmont. Maybe it didn’t suck! Maybe it was actually good, I thought. But no. It was even duller than I remembered. They butchered the novel and everyone was miscast. And when is it supposed to be set? Is it the 1760s? The 1780s? WHERE ARE ALL THE PANNIERS?!

        The costumes of Amadeus are pretty dreadful, but Amadeus is so well-acted, well-directed and well-scripted that the costumes fall into the “good-shitty” category for me (if that makes sense). Whereas the costumes of Valmont, IMO, are just mediocre.

        1. Same! Same!

          Although I have to admit to luuuving this flick when I was 14, must’ve watched it dozens of times. So the awakening in my older age was rough, to say the least.

        2. weighing in here, MANY years late.
          As someone who watched Valmont RIGHT AFTER I read this article (and A day after watching Dangerous Liasons AND the Korean Adaptation “Untold Scandal”) I was TWICE as disgusted by this film as I probably would have been anyway. I was NOT sufficiently prepared for the clusterfuck that was Firth’s hair. And the story? OMG the story. the Script was maybe the worst thing about it.

          ON the Subject of Valmont vs. Amadeus i’m leaning in favour of Amadeus because it is very consciously a-historical and the issues there were (mainly) conscious artistic choices.

  2. I donno, I’m with Trystan on this one. Even though they both suck Amadeus seems slightly more accurate because of the boobage being in the right place. And I still have a soft spot for the “It’s Turkish!” ensemble.

  3. I was lucky and saw this ovie when I was 18 so A. had just a very basic knowledge of 18th Century fashion and B. hadn’t seen DL yet. I remember enjoyingit hugely. I probably wouldn’t today…

  4. Oh, and I completely blame this film for all those ‘cute’, matchy-matchy tricorns that ladies make and wear even when it’s clear they’re not sporting either a riding/hunting habit or a masquerade piece. You’re allowed one pet peeve, no?

  5. Ugh! First time nor Anette Bening nor Colin Firth seem appealing to me I Would rather watch Meg Tilly’s (Tourvel) Carmilla from the same year a much better period entertaining piece (even if it’s a much shorter film)

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