Arnold Cusmariu | 11/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Asked whether this film would be the last of the Doinel cycle, Truffaut answered (with Claude Jade standing next to him) quote, "with this film, he [Doinel] reached adulthood and there's no reason to go on." Of course, this is completely wrong. He did make another one, "Love on the Run," proving how difficult it is to predict the future course of a creative process. As for the other comment, it was probably meant tongue in cheek: Doinel does indeed "reach adulthood" agewise here but that's not the same thing at all as maturity, which is the point of the film, made with Truffaut's flawless Mozartean touch and clever cinematic style.
Having seen all five, what struck me is that, except for "400 Blows," the stories are as much about Doinel as about the women in his life, played by Marie-France Pisier, Claude Jade, and Dorothee, showing what a charmed life the fellow led and how lucky he was to have crossed paths with so many beautiful women, an autobiographical point because it's well known that Doinel=Truffaut. We come away from this film realizing that encounters with Beauty are not appreciated for what they really are, a favor from the gods. No sooner that his wife, the sweet, delightful, and adorable Christine (Jade), has a baby that Doinel decides to cheat on her with a Japanese woman! Truffaut doesn't properly resolve this matter until later, in "Love on the Run."
A word about the title. "Domicile Conjugal" is a rather literal title in French that does not mean "Bed & Board" or anywhere near that. And yet "Bed & Board" is entirely appropriate given how casually Doinel treats house and home with the lovely Christine and their baby. Bravo to whoever thought of the English title."
Light Romance but Nicely Done
Randy Keehn | Williston, ND United States | 05/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I read a recent article in "The New Yorker" about the relationship between Godard and Truffaut. It was an interesting account of how their common interest in the cinema led to collaberation and mutual support. However, around 1968, they went their seperate ways. Without rewriting the article here, I was impressed how Godard expressed his dissatisfaction with Truffaut's movies. I forget the exact words he used to describe Truffaut's movies but it was along the lines of simplistic and/or apolitical...something to that effect. I mention this because a couple of days after finishing the article, I had a chance to watch "Bed and Board" and I, too, was surprized by the simplistic love story that unfolds in the movie. It has a lot of nice touches to it and I found it easy to watch. Afterwards I thought of it as a sort of "Barefoot in the Park" with a better script, better acting, and better direction. While I have a somewhat more reserved opinion of Francois Truffaut than others, I must admit "Bed and Board" was an excellent production. However, if it had been directed by some unknown or lesser known person, I wonder if I'd even give it enough thought to write a review. I'm glad I watched "Bed and Board" but I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to recommend it to anyone else; including you."
Love on the Rocks
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 08/18/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Francois Truffaut is one of my favorite directors. His films all have likeable characters and lighthearted material that one can simply smile while watching an entire film.
The "Antonie Doinel" series has given us some great films. My favorite would be "400 Blows" followed by "Love on the Run" and "Stolen Kisses" but for some reason "Bed & Board" just didn't live up to my expectations.
I had to search a long time to find this film, because I didn't want to buy it first without seeing it, as I waited my expectations grew higher and higher.
"Bed & Board" has Jean-Pierre Leaud and Claude Jade married and expecting a child. Life seems perfect. They are one of those extremely happy young couples, you know, the kind you hate to see in public. We suspect they are deeply in love. He even likes her parents!
But soon after their baby is born domestic problems ensue for the Doinel household. Antonie has started an affair with someone he met from work, Kyoko (Hiroko Berghauer).
There was something about the way this situation was presented that bothered me. First of all, we don't really know why he did it. If you want to shrug it off as "one of those young dumb mistakes" why doesn't the movie push that idea more?
The movie doesn't explore the situation to its fullest and show more hardships faced in young love. The movie goes easy on Doinel and doesn't make Jade seem real. She seems all to understanding.
"Bed & Board" is enjoyable, especially if you are already a Truffaut fan, but I don't think these characters here are as enjoyable to watch as the ones in 'Love on the Run" or "Stolen Kisses". Their is a lightness that is missing. A certain charm.
Leaud and Jade are perfect in the beginning of the film. They play their character correctly and do bring out that sweetness so it's disappointing when their characters begin to lose some of that likeability because the script written by Truffaut, Claude de Givray, and Bernard Revon seem to lose focus with these people.
Watch "Bed & Board" if you've seen the other Doinel films and honestly tell me those other films were not satisfying. Fans will enjoy the movie, as do I, but on a small scale because I know Truffaut has done better.
Bottom-line: Not one of the best films in the "Antonie Doniel" series, but than again it's hard to top films like "400 Blows" and "Love on the Run" still worthwhile for Truffaut fans."