Breathless (1983) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
62 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Lurid fun and has aged well.
BlackJack_B22 November 2005
Back in 1983, the remake of Jean-Luc Godard's "A Bout de Soufflé" was savagely attacked by critics. It was understandable at the time. Today, I'll bet many of the critics probably feel the film is much better compared to today's bottom feeder cinema (many of which top the box office).

Richard Gere's Jesse LuJack does the rare feat of being both repulsive and likable. Early in the film, you despise the reckless, cocky, S.O.B. of a criminal that he is but as the film wears on you suddenly find his character extremely appealing. Once you warm up with him, you realize how much fun Gere is having playing LuJack. His traipsing in L.A. becomes very entertaining in a video game sort of way. Singing to Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, disrupting his girlfriend's exam, and his role as The Fugitive makes the film so compelling and fun to watch. He embodies coolness while being hip; which can be hard to do.

As for Valerie Kapinsky, I have seen some of her soft-core films from Europe and she is tremendously sexy. She has sex appeal and looks delicious in virtually every scene. Her acting here gave her an undeserved rap. She's supposed to be playing a French exchange student. I think she did the best job possible by playing herself. I would take Kaprinsky over some American actress faking a French accent. There could have been other French actresses out there that could have taken the part but she fit in perfectly for the role IMO. She probably didn't object to the nudity required.

The film also delivers some steamy situations. Making love in front of a huge screen showing an old movie (I think Judy Garland was in it) while being on the lam in L.A. just sounds so dreamy. Makes me want to do the same with my girl; only I won't have an arrest warrant on my head LOL!

So yes, the movie isn't a classic and it isn't Casablanca but the film is much, much better than the turkey it received in 1983. It's definitely worth seeing.

Interestingly enough, Jim McBride would later direct a biopic of Jerry Lee Lewis in 1988 called "Great Balls Of Fire" so his interest in late 50's rockabilly was apparent here regarding the great soundtrack.
23 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Pelvic Thrust of Zen
chaos-rampant16 July 2011
Okay, so the idea is to achieve emptiness so that we may be actually informed by what it is we see. To train an eye for details that doesn't react or classify or evaluate but instead grasps effortlessly the totality of what a film means to us. In this process, naturally we have to discard our preconceptions and routine streams of thought; who made the film, is it art-house, does it belong in a list of masterpieces.

A bunch of those here; a remake of a well known French film, the presence of Richard Gere (usually signifying fluff), the very idea of a film that never made much sense to begin with. Who needs a Breathless remake, much less the Hollywood version? But we got it, so what about it? The Godard film was about young people coming to discover for the first time the struggle with important things, about love and meaning dealt with in the pretentious, silly, superficial ways of youth. What tied the struggle together was a boyhood fantasy about movies. We had a protagonist acting out an imaginary gangster part and the reality of the film arranged around him as a movie plot in which to act the part. It was about the safe distance provided by the fictional as conflated into the emotional distance between two people.

Now watch how the remake transcribes this. Richard Gere is the Michel Poiccard character but instead of Bogart he is a Clark Gable. A movie hunk 'exhuding studly scent' as another reviewer aptly puts it. Recklessly oblivious to anything but the present moment and what it has to offer, he is the very dream of movies. A doofus at first sight but who instinctively seems to have grasped the essence of life by the balls. As much a target of ridicule as admiration. We see him empathize with utmost seriousness with Silver Surfer comics! Something akin to a destiny for him.

But we're not inside him, we're siding with the French girl who's come to LA to study architecture. The girl who plans, thinks, wants the buildings she will create to last. The perfectly logical human being who (along with us) is swept away by the irresistible allure of an existence without bounds, centered in the 'now' and radiating outwards. Valerie Kapriskie is a perfect match here, an Ali McGraw to Steve McQueen; she's great because she can't act to hide what seems a genuine infatuation with Gere's adolescent antics (mixed with genuine frustration).

We travel with them through a fetish dream of LA. Cars are fire-engine red Thunderbirds, summer dresses and even telephones pink. I've been going this month through a phase of cinematic vacation in Los Angeles, and this one has the best sense of place of anything I've seen yet. The dark joint with the jukebox, the empty streets blowing with hot summer wind.

But it's more than a ride of pure, exhilarating movie pleasure, there's something to talk about here.

It's peppered throughout, but centered in a scene by a pool. The girl wants to know what is behind the man's face, what kind of nothingness. He blurts something about love, no doubt cribbed from some magazine. A little later an aging architect, who no doubt has been where she is and has come to understand the world, tells her that nothing that is built lasts.

And the best part, taken from the pages of a Silver Surfer comic. I won't go into details, but it says something about us, the sentient beings narrating our story, removed from our heart yet discovering it in every reflection. It makes for perfect Zen.

So we have this hip-swivelling, rock'n'roll Zorba the Greek, who is empty inside in the best sense possible, so that he is filled with everything. Like only a blank sheet of paper can be clearly written on.

And he's on the run for a fateful mistake of shooting a cop. How the scene is edited is important; we see a windshield shatter, then Gere looking with astonishment at the pistol in his hand. Elements crucially missing from the edit (the action itself) reveal the emotional state; how many mistakes can we look back on and be perplexed how we let them happen?

There's more to it. There's a marvellous love scene in a movie theater playing Gun Crazy (which the film is reversed from). The two lovers roll around as behind them loom huge footage of the fictional couple in Gun Crazy discussing what pertains to the two lovers.

And before the climax, we ride all the way up to a property overlooking the LA nightscape. Errol Flynn's as we find out, again movieland.

It is better than the Godard film, miles better. It's as much about the old tropes of sex and violence as that film, except it's filled with actual heart. It is about kitsch elevated into noble gesture, about reality dismantled into fiction and the opposite. Novice film buffs discovering a sense of importance with Tarkovsky and Malick will find little in this simple film to appreciate; but those who've done their rounds and are looking for specific things may be strangely fulfilled by this.
35 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Mehico! Mehico! Mehico!
huckfunn14 March 2004
I got tired of watching my censored taped-from-TV version of this film, so I finally bought the DVD. I am one happy hombre. In addition to the superior video and audio quality, one gets several unobstructed views of the object of Gere's love/lust -- and that's no insignificant treat.

One reviewer aptly referred to this film as Gere doing his "early-80s cheeseball riff on the sexiest man alive." I concur. "Breathless" could be seen as an expansion of his minor role as Diane Keaton's dangerous pretty-boy in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" -- transposed from wintery Chicago to sultry L.A.

I won't analyze this film. It doesn't hold up under criticism, and certainly there is plenty to dislike, starting with the relentlessly sociopathic behavior of its protagonist. Rather, in the spirit of the film's love-almost-conquers-all theme, here's just a partial list of what I love about "Breathless":

1. Kaprisky in her see-through swimsuit. Rowrrrr! The rest of her wardrobe is pretty damn sexy, too. (The jury's still out on Gere's blue 'soot.')

2. The kiss at the diving board. It has to be one of the best in cinema history. Kaprisky is a goner after that.

3. Gere's line: "I think maybe I was rolling dice when I should have been rolling you." Cheesy, sure, but look at her face when he says it.

4. The shower scene, together. Kaprisky running hot and cold. "Jesse, you're crazy." ... "So what?" ... "It's OK. I like it."

5. Gere turning female heads wherever he goes, as he exudes his studly scent.

6. Los Angeles as The Place to Be. I lived and loved in L.A. during the early/mid-80s, and can vouch for the intoxication of being young and on the go in the City of Dreams. It's one big-ass place. McBride and veteran lensman Richard Kline do a superb job of capturing its heat, light (L.A. sunsets put a glow over the whole city), and diversity -- from the downtown hotels and office towers, to the industrial sections, to the Hollywood hills, to upscale West L.A., to the beach communities (where we see what must be every mural in L.A.).

7. The amazing ending. Gere taking his "all-or-nothing" motto to the wire. In what other movie will you see a dude dancing and singing to his woman while the cops have their guns drawn on him?

"Breathless" is Gere at his best. Maybe Kaprisky, too, for whatever that's worth. Don't think too hard about it. Just enjoy the ride.
42 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Prepare to have your preconceptions overturned
Max_Planck11 August 2003
Richard Gere in a cheesy remake of a '60s French nouvelle vague classic? Sounds like it should really suck, right?

Wrong. Turns out that Jim McBride's "Breathless" one of the best American films of the '80s. Electric performances, superb use of music, and direction with great zip and flair. The fact that this still gets so many negative reviews proves that, even now, most people simply don't get it. The main thing is Gere's performance - you'll either love his preening, irrepressible arrested adolescent, or find him grating. I think it's the performance of his career. This is one of Tarantino's favourite movies, and although it's not really anything like a QT movie, you can see why it appeals to him. I was all set to hate it, but by the end I loved it. Check it out, and decide for yourself.

Oh, and not even LA in the height of summer is anything like as hot as Valerie Kaprisky.
67 out of 93 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Gere at his flamboyant best
ODDBear25 August 2003
Richard Gere is quite simply the whole show in Breathless. To this day, this remains his most flamboyant performance of them all. He's immoral, yet charming and by sheer enthusiasm you can't help but root for this tragic character. The story seems to be a mere excuse to showcase Gere's charisma and sex appeal and he carries this movie as far as it can go.

Although this is hardly groundbreaking stuff, director Jim McBride seems to be an ample filmmaker. The film is filled with nice location photography and some flashy angles here and there.

I also dug the music score, shame there's no soundtrack album available anywhere. I recommend this film to anyone. Probably seen it over 20 times and I never get tired of it. Granted, I am a Richard Gere fan, but I also think this movie is truly entertaining.
25 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I really liked this film
Doc Allen3 January 2003
To me Richard Gere carried the movie--he managed to make Jesse LuJak a character both repulsive and likeable. LuJak is a petty criminal, car-thief and then a murderer, not very bright (he reads comic books and seems to model himself on The Silver Surfer). LuJak moves in a world of cheap motels and seedy bars, and has a torrid and obviously doomed affair with an art student. But in the end he comes off as somehow admirable--we believe that he loves the Kapinsky character, that he might even be a good father to her child, given the chance. LuJak comes mighty near what I would call a tragic hero--flaws and all.

As for the look of the movie, I find that equally well done--just for example, at one point the hero and heroine make love in torrid red lights, with a black-and white 30s movie in the background, also dealing with doomed lovers. The juxtaposed images were very nicely handled.

Both thumbs up!
15 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sad ending but lots of sex!!
naomiengland10 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Picture 1992, a 12 year old girl reading British Vouge they talking about steaming love seances and they mentioned this movie. x-mas 1992. The play Breathless on BBC2. I watch it and this started by love of Richard Gere.

Richard plays a street punk Jesse, that shots a cop. Jesse flees to be with a Fench lady hes in love with. Jesse breaks into Monica's flat and showers the part of this movie he shows his penis.!!! Breathless shows the hardship a street punk, thats madly in love with a normal French lady that has goals in life. After they have sex, Monica turns away and she knows she messing with her good life for a street punk."Jesse I don't know what you want from me. I love you but I don't want to love you, you don't fit into my plans in my life". Monica is torn from her job and wasteing it with Jesse.

If you haven't seen Breathless I won't say more,even not likening Richard Gere. Watch Breathless this underrated movie. I do cry at the end evey bloody time. I am now 30, I would say I have seen Breathless 20 or 30 times.
13 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent Film with a Great Soundtrack
richlandwoman18 October 2003
I have never seen a film with so many terrific songs used to such great effect. American critics stupidly trashed this movie when it first came out, saying it desecrated the memory of the French original. Several French critics disagreed and named this remake one of the top ten films of the year.

22 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
an underrated film; Kapriskie and Grere are excellent
rk17610 January 2003
This is a good film which has been unfairly panned. The direction is excellent. Valerie Kapriskie does very well as Grere's love interest, and Grere himself, always willing to take an artistic risk, is superbly offbeat. The music is compelling and is used with genius, particulalry in the Santa Ana winds heat scene, where Kapriskie burns up the screen by simply slipping into a shoe. The chemistry between Kapriskie and Grere works. This should be a cult film.
24 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I can't see this movie enough!
OceanPagan15 March 2011
I love the character Gere portrayed so flawlessly - Jesse's sheer intensity is a joy to behold. I really enjoyed the music throughout the film also, and the way it captures the varying moods so well. Kaprisky does a good job with her character as well - the exotic Frenchwoman Monica, torn between her plans for her life and her moth-to-the-flame attraction to the exuberant, unstoppable Jesse. This film has just had a run on EPIX on demand and I must have seen it six or seven times - it's one of my all-time favorites: those few, special films that, although I can almost speak the dialogue in unison with the characters, are still the ones I reach for and watch again and again.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
French film class
CrashleyTee22 February 2005
Having watched the original, "A Bout de Soufflé", in my French film class, and then "Breathless" a week later, I was easily able to pick my favorite. While considered to be stylistically and aesthetically pivotal, Godard's film literally put me to sleep-- and I never fall asleep while watching new movies. McBride's "interpretation" was fantastic. Because it's about 20 years newer (and now 20 years old), I felt that I was able to jibe with it- its modernity was simpler for me to follow. The soundtrack was totally amazing- I believe there's some Heart and The Pretenders at some important scenes, which was definitely a selling point ;) I totally recommend "Breathless" and unlike my professor, I don't really think you have to watch "A Bout de Soufflé" first.
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It ain't Godard, but it ain't anywhere near bad, either.
kingdaevid25 June 2004 knew when it was announced that the cine-snobs would love to hate BREATHLESS. No, it wouldn't be Godard's A BOUT DE SOUFFLE, and it wouldn't have all the revolutionary touches of the 1960 original. While the director had made a cult favourite a dozen years before (the post-nuclear tale GLEN AND RANDA), and would go on to make THE BIG EASY and GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!, Jim McBride wasn't even a tenth as well known as Godard. But it did have Richard Gere, at the peak of his popularity, as the male star, and he gave perhaps the most entertaining performance of his career to date... ...the story is basically that of the Godard picture, but instead of a French guy pursuing an American gal in Paris, here we have an American guy pursuing a French gal in California. Jesse Lujack, a charming but larcenous hustler, steals a car from a casino parking lot in Vegas and high-tails it to L.A. to hook up with Monica, a French exchange student he'd spent the previous weekend with. But on the way, he unintentionally kills a highway patrolman. Will Jesse make it out of Los Angeles with Monica before the law can catch up with him?... ...for the exchange student, we have Valerie Kaprisky in her English-language debut. She was supposedly hand-picked for the role by Gere himself, and while she puts in a good performance, one still gets the feeling Gere and McBride may have brought the wrong Valerie to the set; the last time I watched the picture, I kept wondering how Valerie Quennessen (FRENCH POSTCARDS, SUMMER LOVERS) would have done in this part. Perhaps it is significant that Kaprisky, while having a successful film and television career in France and Italy, did not perform in another English-language movie until GLAM in 2001, eighteen years later...
13 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Beautiful Girl
r_berendsen4 February 2004
Like Quentin Tarantino, I liked this movie a lot. But for the first time since my heart broke a year ago, I fell in love again :). Richard Gere and Valérie Kaprisky are a lovely couple. The movie was a rollercoaster ride that gave me a lasting happy feeling.
9 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Breathless baby....
triple82 February 2004
It's funny to see Richard Gere now, so refined and soft spoken and remember he played the quintesential wild man in "Breatless". I remember when I saw this, I was so young but it blew me away. This isn't a movie that's especially strong no depth nor is it the most original movie-cmon hot bad by, hot bad girl on the run together etc etc. Not original in the slightest but the movie was wholly absorbing. It just worked.

I think this movie was completely decadent and was also a bit ahead of it's time-were it to be released now people wouldn't bat an eye but back then I remember it was pretty raunchy-I didn't know till I read some other reviews on here that Quenten Tarentino was a fan of this movie and there IS something about this movie that's a bit-I don't know-let's just say that I could see him making this.

I think the appeal of this movie was on alot of levels, it was decadent, controversial, featured two leads who even by HOLLYWOOD standards were absolutely incredible looking,besides being fastpaced, action oriented and featuring plenty of sizzling scenes between the two leads. Although this is far from my favorite movie it sure did leave me breathless!
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Underrated Film of All Time
cyril-815-29016631 May 2016
I think it was some time in the late 80's when films started to become predictable. This version of Breathless in 1983 had a couple thing going for it - Richard Gere as he rose to fame and that is was a remake of a classic film. The writer of this film took some really big chances. We're suppose to root for a cop killer, street thug and womanizer? Yup and we do because the film works. It's not preaching morality like all films seem to do, it takes risks. My favorite seen of the film is towards the end where they go to underground dance party and end up in the loft of a movie theatre playing the classic 1940's film noir. The ending is a classic to - it's all or nothing with this film.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An impossible transplant
roland-scialom1 December 2008
A Bout De Soufflé is closely related to the portrait of a generation shaped by Beatnik and Existencialist philosophies. Kerouak and Salinger in USA, Sartres and Camus in France, were among the intellectuals who inspired this generation.

A generation whose "malaise" is embedded in Paris atmosphere. Paris which was the very center of occidental culture by that time.

The American version of this story, Breathless, directed by Jim McBride, missed the point because the portrait of a generation of the sixties in Paris, cannot be transplanted to a context of the eighties in California.
9 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
an underestimated classic
rk17623 February 2005
Don't miss this one, if you can rent or buy it. Many have panned it, but in fact it's a marvelous film. Sure it looks in a way like a "grade b" film, as someone remarked: BUT is supposed to look that way. Richard Gere plays a grade B or C character, a Las Vegas hustler who flees to California to try to see his girlfriend / architectural student, the lovely Valerie Kaprisky. On the way Gere by way of what might be an accident, one of those incidents between deliberation and accident, kills a police office. He tries during the film to maintain his brash, hip cheaply charming persona in his wooing of Karpisky. This is an American classic, albeit a cult one. The critics panned Kaprisky, who was actually very good. It's one of those flicks which indicates that some critics should get another job. Trust me, this is worth seeing. The musical score, by the way, understated and superb. Gere is a genius. I can't think of any other actor who could have pulled this one off.
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's just a panic attack
tomsview2 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
At the time "Breathless" was released in 1983, a critic claimed that Richard Gere's deliberate overacting supported the stylised fantasy elements of the movie. Really? I suspect that he was simply surprised by the self-indulgence of the performance, especially when compared with films such as "Days of Heaven", "An Officer and a Gentleman" and even "American Gigolo" – all made before "Breathless".

"Breathless" was a remake of Jean Luc Godard's "A Bout De Soufflé" The success of that movie had a lot to do with timing, and forces that were working through society at the beginning of the 1960's. Godard's movie launched French Cinema's influential new wave, which also had an impact on Hollywood.

The remake came 20 years later, and unlike Godard's version was no longer timely nor an antidote to the predictability of contemporary film.

Richard Gere's character, Jesse Lujack, a petty hustler and car thief, accidentally kills a policeman and goes on the run with his French girlfriend Monica, played by Valérie Kaprisky. Unaware of Jesse's criminal activity, she is attracted to his wildness and the aura of danger he projects.

Jesse Lujack as rendered by Gere is arrogant, self-centred, stupid and narcissistic; he has few redeeming traits. Whether it's gyrating to Jerry Lee Lewis while he drives yet another hot-wired automobile or practicing his quick draw with the remote while changing TV channels, extra bits of business are thrown into just about every scene.

Although the film has strong production values, there are lapses in logic that are so silly they would probably get laughs if they had been in "The Naked Gun". Near the end, Jesse runs through the streets with his shirt unbuttoned to the navel, clearly revealing the distinctive tattoo on his breast that is the key feature of the police description that has just been broadcast. His checked pants don't help him melt into the crowd all that well either.

In "White Heat", James Cagney created a memorable finale, surrounded by police on top of a burning fuel tank. In "Breathless", Richard Gere goes him one better when he disco dances – in those checked pants no less – as police close in from all sides. It is so over-the-top that it almost defies description.

Valérie Kaprisky had to work hard to be noticed in this movie. That she does is because of the contrast between her low-key delivery and Gere's attention seeking hyperactivity.

It appears that Richard Gere's performance in "Breathless" was a one off. From then on, if there was a trait that typified a Richard Gere performance, surely it was restraint. Look at him in films as diverse as, "Pretty Woman", "Internal Affairs", and "Shall We Dance?" Not only is he controlled but he also underplays to great effect. Maybe with "Breathless" he just needed to get something out of his system.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
There is nothing in this movie
LapinKulta10 August 2012
I started to watch this movie open-minded, without any expectations, not even knowing it scored a very modest 5.5 on IMDb.

The movie proved to be utter disappointment for me. I like Gere, and I think he gave a reasonable performance, but there was simply nothing to the story which could touch me, or motivate me to watch through. He steals cars, reads comic books (Silver Surfer), he is in love with an art student, and longs to go to Mexico. Even if Silver Surfer or the the main character's wish to reach Mexico have hidden meaning, the symbols are rather lame.

I have the impression the movie is built only on popularity Gere enjoyed in early eighties. His role in American Gigolo made him the sex symbol of the era, presumably rightly so, but you can not make a movie only from it.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Even in 2006...
kidcolt@hotmail.com18 July 2006
Breathless is one of my favourite 'background movies', along with Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, Switchblade Sisters, and Bonnie and Clyde:

Pretty and dumb girl, Pretty and dumb guy, OTT cops, killer soundtrack, cool LA locations, and weird, memorable, clunky and odd dialogue. This movie actually got me hooked on old Silver Surfer comics; which are corny and ham-fisted, but fun because they're 'played straight'. Like this movie.

And Breathless still has one of my all-time favourite movie endings--Hollywood, Indie, or other. Don't compare it to the original French New-wave film. It has almost nothing to do with it. And, while I like the original, I love the cheesy appeal of the remake so much more. My film professors would be so disappointed in me, I'm sure.

Breathless is great, great fun.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Brilliant postmodern version of the French classic
phc-14 November 2002
Absolutely brilliant postmodern remake of the French Godard-classic "À bout de souffle (1960)". Jim McBride's film can be considered one of the very first American postmodern movies. Sadly, McBride was 10 years ahead of his time, and consequently his movie has been misunderstood for years, and slaughtered the both critics and audience. This movie is a must see for people seeking the roots of the temporary postmodern movie a la David Lynch and Luc Besson.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Gere at his peak.
merereflection4824 January 2006
I could have easily given this film a ten but, it would have been based purely on the emotions the movie drew from me. It will always be one of my favorite films. Gere walks away from this film having no doubt given his finest effort. I have tried for years to find the title to a piece of music used in the film. I believe it is used only twice. Once during the pool scene and once at the conclusion. It is a short clip which contains a wailing sax, it may have a Latin texture. Very fitting piece, very emotional. If anyone knows the title please share it with me. It is not a surprise how this film has kept it's following, it is timeless.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An excellent if somewhat artistic movie typical of the 60's era
monte7sny22 February 2005
Breathless is an artistic movie that could have been, and probably should have been, created in the 60's. It likely would not have been panned then, as it was in 1983. The theme is liberal by today's standards. One has the temptation to stop viewing as early as a fifth of the way through the movie. That is a mistake. Like a play, it develops the characters slowly. Sit back and enjoy, the movie will develop in its own good time.

The genre should be romance. Nothing else really fits. Screenplay and writing are French, which explains this movie. It definitely has a French flavor throughout, which is another reason it was probably panned. Richard Gere gives a stunning performance and well worth watching for him alone. Valérie Kaprisky is the excellent co-star, and makes the movie work. She has the center role of the picture. Together the two make it a memorable movie. I wish she would do more American films. Her talent is to make her character come alive through her "presence," on the screen, not so much the dialogue, which is mere accompaniment. Both deserve five starts for their synergy together.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An Underrated American Classic!
sjsully16 October 2006
It is a remake of a French film, sure. But watch this film and you will have insight and understanding of the American male pathos and the American male soul.

Richard Gere plays Jesse Lujack, a petty criminal and wanderer, who becomes caught up in a harsh set of circumstances that leave him running from the authorities. Jesse is the type of guy who is always in search of excitement or action because that is who he is; he is your typical handsome, good natured male, transplanted in the American underbelly. And because of this, tragedy is never far behind.

On the run, Jesse meets up with Monica, a beautiful, French exchange student, played by the lovely Valerie Kaprisky, whom we might assume has met in some bar or shopping mall. Jesse and Monica are both beautiful people, so we understand how they probably met: vis a vis - the natural way: through physical attraction. There is a problem, however. Jesse is from a different world than Monica. She is a college student who appears to come from money and privilege, and appears to be more comfortable with stability and therefore is respected in society. While Jesse is, well, the other kind.

This movie is brilliant. One of the gems from the 80's. It has a wonderful pace, thanks to director Jim McBride. The music is fantastic; various pop songs and surfer jams are placed throughout. The writing by Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut is excellent because it is very accurate to how real people communicate; this is true with not only the lead actors but with the small roles as well.

Yet, when it's all said and done, this is Richard Gere's movie. He is an absolute tour de force. He embodies Jesse; he knows how he thinks, how he acts and how he moves. It is quite the achievement. Arguably the best of Gere's career.

There are many sequences that highlight the film. My personal favorite is the scene in the pool between the two leads. Gere and Kaprisky are young, in their prime, and playing off each other; attracted, repelled, and attracted again. There are reasons for this and I will not elaborate... you have to see it. It's a brilliant scene.

Just see this movie. You will not be disappointed. 10 stars.
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
10 out of 10!
seabreeze-12 May 2005
Gave it 10 out of 10. This is a great movie! I still have the VHS of this one. I don't think anything could have been done to make it any better. The music is right on, and some of the film work is so "quirky" the word I want? (quirky is good). The sunset night scene when he's driving the car in the desert, the checkered clothes Richard Gere wears at one point, the movie theater, etc. Not only did it have a comic book in it, it reminded me of a comic book.

I was very impressed, and still am. Richard Gere did a fantastic job of acting throughout the whole movie. Highly recommend to anyone looking to be 'entertained'.

6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed