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Perfect Love begins with the reenactment of a violent crime. It then moves back in time to the evening, several months before, when 37-year-old mother and divorcée Frédérique (Isabelle Renauld in an accomplished performance) and 28-year-old man-about-town Christophe (Francois Renaud) first got together. For a while, the couple is able to make their unlikely union work, but then it all starts to unravel. There is no one incident, rather a series of petty jealousies and cruel comments. By the end, one of the two has murdered the other. As with her controversial 1999 feature, Romance, the title of author and director Catherine Breillat's 1996 predecessor isn't meant to be taken literally. If it's slightly less shocking and sexually explicit than 2001's acclaimed Fat Girl, it's just as disturbing and thought provoking and seems to suggest that an obsession with "perfect love" can only end in failure--if not death.

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FLV1721 Perfect Love VHS (1996/Catherine Breillat) $5.99