Monday, November 21, 2011

A Closer Look: Films with a Ménage à Trois Flavor

I was so happy to see Kayla Knight’s post last Thursday! Well, I mean after of course spewing coffee all over my computer screen and frantically yelling, “Shit! We’ve written the same post!” After that initial moment of panic, though, I read on and realized that her post is the perfect teaser for what I wanted to write about today.

Because I, too, stumbled upon this list of ménageamous films, and being the perverted, curious person I am, I thought to myself, “Must watch. MUST WATCH NOW.” So I headed over to IMDB and started combing through the plot synopses, trying to decide which three I would choose. I ended up selecting each one for very different reasons.

The one I knew I would talk about first is The Dreamers, starring Eva Green (Camelot, Casino Royale), Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire), and Louis Garrel (some sexy, brooding, cigarette-smoking French dude). 

While looking through the list of films that Kayla shared, the one that stuck out about this one for me was Eva Green. A little Edith DuBois factoidEmilie Benson from A Bride for Two Babes was modeled after Eva Green, and this was the picture I used. 

The second thing I noticed about the film was that it was directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, who also directed Last Tango in Paris. Another Edith DuBois factoidI tried to watch Last Tango in Paris when I was in my early 20s. So tantric and violent in nature were the scenes that I could only make it twenty minutes into the film. Plus, there’s all sorts of scandal around the actors and the director, and I’m into that kind of stuff (read all the juicy deets here). Still, I couldn’t make it through Last Tango in Paris but wanted to give The Dreamers a try.

Essentially, it’s about a French brother and sister who welcome a fresh-faced American boy into their midst. You know those French, always toeing the incest line (ick). This one is the most artsy out of the three, and by the end of the film, I have to admit that it left me a little disappointed. Everything was all tortured and collapsing, and there was no happily ever after, but there were some friggin’ steamy scenes (they got a bathtub scene in, complete with bubbles and flirtatious splashing), and you can see a hint of toe-sucking in the trailer below. If nothing else, I got a lot of inspiration for my bedroom scenes. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

The next one I watched was Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

I chose this one because I watched this movie before I even knew about the Siren world of ménage. In fact, the first time I watched it, I recall being both shocked yet somehow not surprised by the ménage relationship portrayed by Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, and Javier Bardem (HOLY CRAP, JAVIER BARDEM’S SPANISH ACCENT AND SMOLDERING GAZE, HOLY CRAP). Then watching it after almost a year of writing at Siren, I found myself excited with how this ménage was portrayed. However, I know there are some F/M/F haters out there (even though, historically, I think this combination is more common, if memory serves), so this film may not be for you. There was one bit of dialogue, though, that I think we might all connect with. It’s between Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), her best friend Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Vicky’s husband, Doug (Chris Messina). In it, Cristina shares with her friend a slight change in her relationship with Juan Antonio Gonzalo (Javier Bardem).

Cristina: At first it did bother me, but then I started to think about all these standard, accepted clichés of love. You know, what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s appropriate according to the appropriate police, and, you know, you see how screwed up most relationships are. You know what I mean?
Doug: So what you’re saying is you’re sharing a man. You’re like a Mormon wife.
Cristina: I know it sounds strange, but actually we all contribute to the relationship, and we’re all really nourished by it.
Doug: But if everyone did that, society couldn’t function that way!
Cristina: Oh, come on!
Vicky: Come on, Doug. Let’s not get into one of those turgid, categorical, imperative arguments. Whatever works.
Doug: Whatever works?
Cristina: You know, Maria Elena believes that there are many truths in life, not just one.
Doug: I don’t know. I mean, babe, could you live like that?
Vicky: Well...I never had Cristina’s...
Doug: What? Cristina’s lack of structure?
Vicky: Her courage. I never had her courage.
Doug: Her courage? Courage, next thing she’ll be going to bed with Maria Elena and glorifying it as some kind of superior, alternative lifestyle.
Cristina: Oh, I have gone to bed with her.

Okay, and for the last one I watched (and my favorite of the three), I chose Bandits, starring Cate Blanchett, Bruce Willis, and Billy Bob Thorton. 

Seriously, I think that the screenwriter must have been reading some Siren books. The characters were so spot on. (Harley Peyton is the writer, and his most recent film was Friends with Benefits). I’m not gonna say much about this one, except that I adored it and hope that all you ménage lovers watch it. Here’s the dialogue from my favorite scene, in which Joe is pissed because his best friend Terry has slept with his best girl, Kate.

Joe Blake (Bruce Wilis)
Terry Collins (Billy Bob Thornton)
Kate Wheeler (Cate Blanchett)

Joe: We let Kate choose, right?
Terry: No, no, no! That’s a terrible idea.
Joe: What’s wrong with it?
Terry: Because she’ll choose you.
Kate: Are you boys sure you don’t want to kick my tires first? You could arm wrestle?
Joe: Yeah.
Kate: Or flip a coin?
Terry: Yeah, if it’s best four out of seven.
Kate: Unless...unless you think that these are incredibly shallow solutions to a complicated problem that may require a little delicacy and understanding?
Joe: Yeah...that...the last part.
Terry: Maybe you’re right, Kate. Maybe you should choose. So choose. What’s it gonna be? Is it gonna be Mr. Action Figure Hero Guy here? Or...or brains and sensitivity and a lot of other things I could name. So in other words me or that guy.
Joe: Yeah...good lookin’ or twitchy?
Kate: What if I don’t want to?
Joe: Don’t wanna what?
Kate: Choose.
Joe: You have to choose.
Terry: Well yeah.
Joe: What are you talking about?
Terry: That’s impossible. That’s the point.
Kate: I know this is confusing, and believe me, I’m a little confused myself.
Joe: You stole my girl. You take her away for two weeks and you brainwash her.
Kate: Hey! Hey! Would you stop that? You’re getting his coat dirty. Now, I mean look at me. Hello! Would you look at me just for a second. I ran away with bank robbers. Now that...that’s a strange choice, but it’s understandable given my state of mind, but then what do I do? I sleep with Bank Robber Number One because he’s strong and he...he...
Joe: Handsome.
Kate: And he’s handsome, and he knows what he wants.
Joe: There you go. Makes sense to me.
Kate: Oh, but I don’t stop there. Oh no, not this little redhead. Due to circumstances beyond any life I’ve ever known, I sleep with Bank Robber Number Two. And he is sweet...and smart and...
Terry: Cute as a beaver!
Kate: Yeah, and he deserves more than he thinks he does.
Terry: Exactly.
Kate: Now...the heart’s a mysterious organ, and it, you know, plays by its own rules. I don’t want to choose. You know, I don’t think I can and, you know, and if that’s scary or against the laws of man or whatever then...well, I mean, you’re outlaws, right? So...I guess I’m an outlaw, too.

(Either YouTube or the movie's studio has disabled embeds for this video, but you can go here if you want to watch a trailer.)

* * *

Now, I want to leave you with one final thought and question, my beloved When One Is Not Enoughers. Are there any ménageamous films out there that you’ve seen and would recommend? Or are there any ménage books out there that you’d like to see on the big screen? 

Beaucoup d’amour!

1 comment:

Robin L. Rotham said...

I never knew about these movies! Thanks for the heads-up. I just added them to my Netflix queue.