SEATTLE, Washington - Netflix is kind enough to stock the full-blast uncensored director's cut of the depraved Catherine Breillat's 1999 film Romance. I rented this for the same reason I rented Breillat's 2003 film Anatomy of Hell - to see the stilted dramatic acting of porn legend Rocco Siffredi.
This movie starts out like a typical Euro highbrow porn flick. Marie (Caroline Ducey) is shacked up with a guy who doesn't want to have sex with her. He won't even let her perform some friendly fellatio. Most women would consider this the perfect relationship, but not Marie, who gets sufficiently frisky that she sneaks out of bed one night and hits the town.
At the bar she promptly makes eye contact with Rocco, who floats over to her table. "Just came for a nightcap?" he asks. Soon they are getting together at night for sex.
Rocco is more polite and deferential than he is in most movies. "Shall I stick it in your ass?" he inquires, and he doesn't press the issue when she declines. Contrast this with, say, Rocco's Initiations #9, where Rocco continues to pursue the anal issue after being refused and eventually talks the girl into it.
Marie has a few more adventures in the course of the film, what Netflix calls her odyssey of "lust and degradation". Along the way, she shares her thought on sex, relationships, and life, including "I don't care who stuffs my cunt, but I can't kiss someone I don't love", "love between men and women is impossible", "You can't love a face if a cunt goes with it", and "I hate reading". By the end of the movie, of course, there's a twist or two in her relationship with her boyfriend.
Anatomy of Hell did have some really troubling stuff; this movie isn't as bad in that regard. Thankfully, this DVD does not have a bonus interview with Breillat; the Anatomy of Hell DVD does and it's one of the most tedious displays of Euro-babbling that one could ever hear.