DVD Happy Few

DVD Happy Few
DVD Happy Few

Run time: 103 min
Rating: 5.6
Genres: Romance
Director: Antony Cordier
Writers: Antony Cordier, Julie Peyr
Stars: Marina Foïs, Élodie Bouchez, Roschdy Zem
What are adult love affairs ? Two couples meet and fall in love, lose sight of each other in the confusion and end up pulling through.
Plot Keywords: love, rimming, polyamory, male frontal nudity, cuckold
Country: France
Release Date: 15 September 2010 (France)


  1. "Physical infidelity is the signal, the notice given, that all fidelities are undermined." Katherine Anne Porter

    Polyamory is tricky for the best of lovers, so put two couples into mate-swapping, with kids in the mix and professions pushing time limits, and you have a perfectly French sex drama not easy on anyone involved.

    Oh, in Four Lovers it's initially easy enough, as attractive as the principals are and as conducive the circumstances: Vincent (Nicolas Duvaunchelle), a blonde boy/man with tattoos and Web designing occupation, connects with Rachel (Marina Fois), a boutique jeweler; her husband, Franck (Roschdy Zem), is a coffee-table erotic book writer/photographer, who through deft massaging connects with Vincent's Teri, a former Olympic gymnast of half American blood. Sensuality abounds through most of the film with no apparent jealousy as everyone knows what's up. Only when the kids need attention or a diary is read does the edginess of this hanky-panky surface. And then it's all still very much subdued. It's unusual not to witness crying and shouting as the inevitable challenges arise. But then it's discomforting not to have discourse among the principals about their infidelities. The film's so cool as to be almost passionless.

    Unlike Mike Nichols' Closer, starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, which has a similar situation with four acquaintances unfaithful to each other, Closer has a decidedly US/Brit clandestine, guilt cast to it. But it is full of witty dialogue that helps us deconstruct their astonishing selfishness and disregard for feelings.

    I had assumed the French Four Lovers approach would be the opposite: open, relaxed, sensitive, sensual, and surviving. I was right: It's a different world from the Catholic one I grew up in, but it seems the same demons show up in different disguises.

    Even the French can't find this arrangement tenable over the long haul.

    "I don't want to sell myself short. You hurt your spouse, not so much by the infidelity, but by the negative feelings about yourself that you bring home." Michael Zaslow

  2. This is a good movie with a bold theme. The sexual entanglement of two married couples who practice swinging among themselves in a modern French middle-class setting, the initial euphoria succeeded by antagonism, irritation and the ending of this pact. Along with the bold erotic scenes, the parable of the "Prodigal Son" is narrated by a family patriarch during a meal, while there is a brief dialogue in English, in this French speaking movie. Actors and actresses support ably their roles, while the focus is more on the women than the men. In the end a memory remains more sweet than bitter for those involved. I dare say the same applies to viewers.

  3. Remember Paul Mazursky's 1969 film "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice"? That was a tame attempt to bring up the subject of partner swapping, or a foursome play in bed. This French film "Simple Few" does not leave anything to the imagination. It is an 'in your face' account of two couples who decide to switch positions with a willing the opposite member of the quartet. When it comes to telling like it is, leave it to the French to deal with the matter without shame, or guilt.

    Rachel, the jewelry designer, gets aroused when Vincent, a web designer goes to visit her in preparation to take the product on line. That encounter leads to a friendly dinner at Franck and Rachel's apartment, where Franck offers to massage Teri's back; she is a former Olympic gymnast suffering from pains. It is clear to everyone they are mature enough to handle whatever happens, so the arrangement is uncomplicated enough until Teri discovers Rachel's diary in which she discovers how the arrangement came into place.

    Antony Cordier, the director of "Simple Few", or "Four Lovers" as it was released in some countries, would be accepted in spite of its explicit sexual context. The screenplay was written by the director and Julie Peyr and it tackles its subject without any taboos. The sex in the film, although fake, is made to appear like the real thing. It is basically of the straight variety with the exception of a session where the two women go at each other with relish. No such thing occurs between the men. Roschdy Zem is a bit more careful in showing what he has, but Nicolas Duvauchelle lets it all hang out. Marina Fois and Elodie Bouchez act without inhibition.

    There is a ridiculous scene in which the two couples have two sacks of flour fall all over them and then proceed to have sex on the floor. After the session, the foursome go into a nearby watering place to get cleaned. One can only guess what thrill they derived from being coated in flour.

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