First of all - ignore the folks here trying to turn this silly little time-passer into a gender war. Get over yourselves . . . this ain't all that. Rent "Thelma & Louise" if you want gender politics. But I have to admit, this kind of snuck up on me. I wasn't expecting much, but by the end I was pleasantly surprised by how much I had enjoyed it. It's certainly no "Love Story" or "Romeo and Juliet," but it is a nicely-paced, well-cast, beautifully photographed little French "Unfaithful" knock-off, with some interesting twists and foreshadowing. A Dutch couple moves to a small village in France (the director takes great pains to show us that it's the kind of quaint little old-world village where people still take their kids to school on tractors, go to the main street marketplace to buy live animals to butcher for supper, and "there are no secrets . . .") to a country house and piece of land the wife has inherited from a mother who abandoned her for a man (BIG OL' RED FLAG right there). Oh, and she also inherited some money to restore the house with. At first, they have a terrible time finding workers to restore the dilapidated house - until contractor Peter magically appears with his crew, which includes his "son" (actually, his ex-wife's son or something), a hunky, barely-of-age construction worker who (of course) looks more like a Greek statue than a French 20 year-old working construction in a tiny village of 200 - 300 people. Apparently, despite its size, this old-world village has a Gold's Gym somewhere. At first, it seems like they've found their man. But then the wife is warned by another woman in town to be careful with Peter, and then we start to see flecks of Peter's true colors. And the son spreads his peacock tail and begins strutting his stuff in front of the wife (always in wife-beaters - more foreshadowing) and the problems begin. I won't spoil anything, but after that point, the twists and turns - which turn out to be somewhat premeditated - will keep you interested. I couldn't help thinking how ironic it is that in America, older men like and are distracted by younger girls, but in Europe, young guys like older women. Bottom line: the ending, which I suppose you could say is technically "happy," is far from realistic . . . one of those "people like that only exist in movies like this" kind of things. But it's definitely worth 90 minutes on a slow day to see what I'm talking about. And was it just me, or did the wife look like an uncanny "mashup" of Jodi Foster and Sharon Stone? Oh, and they speak a combination of Dutch, (bad) French, and English, so if you don't like subtitles . . . maybe pick again.
Woman has affair with boy toy. Woman is suddenly the big victim. She goes back to normal in the end instead of being kicked to the curb like trash. The End.
The director, a woman (GASP), made a couple of these films with the same basic theme of 'woman questioning what she has' back-to-back. "Soof" was about a woman with a hubby and kids questioning her place, "The Happy Housewife" was about a woman 'losing what she had' because a baby arrived, and then this mess.
I enjoyed this movie on several levels. The complete unfolding of what was going on did not occur until towards the end of the movie. I felt the acting was competent, and the movie well crafted. At first there was the problem of the couple and their children coming from the Netherlands to France, expecting to fit in without really knowing French. The home was a terrible wreck, which required extensive remodeling, which is where the real problems arose. With manipulation from a friend of the husband, to the worker 'stud'. She had the money, but there was the intent to part her from her money by having more and more being done to their property. The movie is unrated, but I would probably give it a soft R. Those who hate needing subtitles will not like this movie.
As others have stated, if you're an English speaker, most of the dialogue is French and you'll need to turn on the captions. the plot involves the setting of a kind of trap. Caught is our leading lady who is seduced and coerced by sinister characters who've apparently carried out their schemes before. Not your standard Hollywood scary story, unfamiliar faces in the brilliant cast. Seamless production and performances. I thought plot resolved in a timely way, no extended suffocation, a satisfying resolution that some reviewers saw as unrealistic. Perhaps, but I found it satisfying.