Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod
The movie is essentially a period drama about Robert Pattinson screwing his way through France. There’s no real shocks or unexpected twists, so you can probably tell by the logline whether or not this is a movie you’d be interested in. Based on Guy de Maupassant’s 1885 novel, BEL AMI is a smutty tale of high-class power marauding as a soap opera. It’s not a love story in any way, though. The main character is purely a social climber. He doesn’t sleep with or marry women for romance; he does it for money, status and even spite.
Perhaps that’s the reason the Pattinson is just an unlikable prick in this movie. His Georges Duroy is nearly a sociopath in how he treats people. He’s creepy, conniving and smug and things get more and more ridiculous as the film progresses. It’s almost fun to see how much more of a dick this guy can be to everyone, but Pattinson’s acting (and constantly constipated face) is too uneven to keep you rooting for him. Even with solid sultry turns from Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristin Scott Thomas as his main lady loves, this is not a fun or exciting movie to watch. Instead of scandalous, it just comes off as flat and forgettable.
Extra Tidbit: Nicole Kidman and Marion Cotillard both turned down roles in this movie.