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Charles is a young provincial coming up to Paris to study law. He shares his cousin Paul's flat. Paul is a kind of decadent boy, a disillusioned pleasure-seeker, always dragging along with other idles, while Charles is a plodding, naive and honest man. He fell in love with Florence, one of Paul's acquaintances. But how will Paul react to that attempt to build a real love relationship ? One of the major New Wave films.Written by
Casey Stengel was right, "Nice guys finish last..."
This film by Claude Chabrol reminds me of the old story of the country mouse and the city mouse. The country mouse is excited to see the big city but his bumbling provincial ways are out of step with his more sophisticated city cousin. This seems to be pretty much the basis for this film, "Les Cousins"! Though of course, being a Chabrol film it will have some dark edges and twists!
Charles is the guy raised in the country. He's slow and lacks confidence with women. Paul, on the other hand, was raised in the city and women hang all over him and put out like crazy for him. When Charles comes to stay with him while he goes to college, he is quite the contrast to Paul who is a confident ladies' man. He's also more bookish and introspective than Paul. All Paul wants is to have a good time and have sex--and he couldn't care less about his studies at the college. And, in a way, Paul has contempt for his cousin when Charles falls head over heels for Florence--and he soon beds Florence and asks her to move in with him. As for Charles, he is sad but sinks his energy into his classwork and tries to do the right thing. What's next for this odd mismatched pair? Bet you won't be able to guess!
This film is considered by many to be one of the best and earliest New Wave films. Like many New Wave movies, the normal film formulas are turned on their head and goodness isn't necessarily rewarded and the ending is quite ambiguous. Well worth seeing and darkly enjoyable.
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