Rosalie [1937]

Director: W.S. Van Dyke II
Stars: Eleanor Powell, Nelson Eddy, Frank Morgan, Edna May Oliver, Ray Bolger
Genre: Drama, Musical
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 123 minutes

In American romantic comedies, after overcoming some silly obstacle, the heroine will choose this guy or that one, and it's usually pretty obvious which. In French romantic comedies, not only is either guy just as likely, but the heroine could just as well end up with both of them--or neither. Ah, the worldly French! César and Rosalie are a happy May-December couple (young Romy Schneider and middle-aged Yves Montand) until the return of Rosalie's old flame David (Sami Frey). David immediately inflames the insecure César with jealousy, to the point that his aggressive behavior threatens his relationship with Rosalie far more than David himself does. The story of César & Rosalie takes unpredictable turns, but every shift is compelling because of how truthfully written and acted the characters are. The French don't need to invent silly obstacles to romance; they understand that human nature itself is obstacle enough. --Bret Fetzer

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