The handsome Bel Ami trailer has been released. (See below.) Instead of Breaking Dawn’s near-teen Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, the Twilight movies’ vampire Edward Cullen, "makes love to" (i.e., has sex with) a more mature Kristin Scott Thomas and a whole array of other females. Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod directed this latest movie adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s classic novel about an impoverished but ambitious ex-soldier who uses his drive, his wit, and his penis to get ahead in life.
Some will call Bel Ami’s anti-hero Georges Duroy a man-whore, but that’s pure envy. Men must sell their wares in every profession. Only the self-deluded will believe otherwise. But while at work, how many of those professionals get to bed, kiss, and (fore)play with the likes of Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, and Uma Thurman? And how many of them look like Robert Pattinson to begin with?
Now, comparisons to Stephen Frears’ critical and box office flop Chéri, about the affair between a courtesan (Michelle Pfeiffer) and a younger man (Rupert Friend) are off the mark. Although it’s true that both Bel Ami and Chéri are period pieces based on classic French novels (Chéri was written by Colette), Friend’s Chéri character is quite different from Pattinson’s Georges Duroy. And so are the plotlines.
Adapted by Rachel Bennette, the R-rated Bel Ami also features Colm Meaney, Natalie Tena, and Holliday Grainger, Pip Torrens, James Lance, and Todd Peterson. Bel Ami is scheduled to open on March 2 in the United Kingdom and Lithuania. June 27 in France. No scheduled dates as yet for the United States, Estonia, or Latvia. [Addendum: According to Larry Richman, Columbia Pictures will possibly release Bel Ami in the US sometime in March 2012. Richman also mentions a "rumor" that Bel Ami will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February.]
As for the trailer, the best line comes courtesy of Pattinson’s Georges Duroy: “There’s no next life. And I’m going to live.” Once again, that’s why so many are envious of characters such as Duroy. They would like to live his life, but lack the guts and/or the apparatus to do so.