Romance (1999 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byCatherine Breillat
Written byCatherine Breillat
Produced byJean-François Lepetit
CinematographyYorgos Arvanitis
Edited byAgnès Guillemot
Music by
  • Raphaël Tidas
  • DJ Valentin
Distributed byRézo Films
Release date
  • 17 April 1999 (1999-04-17) (France)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
Budget$2.7 million
Box office$3.9 million[2]

Romance (Romance X) is a 1999 French arthouse film written and directed by Catherine Breillat. It stars Caroline Ducey, Rocco Siffredi, Sagamore Stévenin and François Berléand. The film features explicit copulation scenes,[3] especially one showing Ducey's coitus with Siffredi. Romance is one of several arthouse films featuring explicit, unsimulated sex, along with The Brown Bunny (2003), 9 Songs (2004)[4] and All About Anna (2005).


A young woman named Marie (Ducey) lives with her boyfriend, Paul (Stévenin), who refuses to have sex with her. She searches for intimacy beyond the bounds of traditional sexual limitations. She has a sexual relationship with Paolo (Siffredi), whom she meets in a bar. Her frustration also drives her to a series of relationships, until she engages in sadomasochism with an older man.


Broadcasting and ratings[edit]

In Europe, Romance was shown in mainstream cinemas; in the United States, it was reduced to a mainstream-acceptable R rating, and the European original version is un-rated. In the UK, the BBFC passed the film uncut for cinemas, though home releases suffered a brief cut to an ejaculation shot. In March 2004, the original version was broadcast, late-night on German public television. In Australia, the original version of Romance was broadcast uncut on the cable television network World Movies.[citation needed] The film was initially refused classification in Australia, before it was awarded an R18+ on appeal.[5] It single-handedly paved the way for actual sex to be accommodated in the R18+ classification in Australia.[5]

In Canada, particularly in Alberta and the Maritimes, the sexuality was seen as gratuitous to the film and it was given an A rating and XXX rating in those regions.[6][7] In June 2008, in the Netherlands, the original version of Romance was broadcast on Dutch public TV by VPRO as one of a series of Erotica art house cinema.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ROMANCE (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 19 July 1999. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Romance (1999) - JPBox-Office".
  3. ^ Anne Gillain, "Profile of a Filmmaker: Catherine Breillat" Beyond French Feminisms: debates on women, Politics and Culture in France, 1981 – 2001, edited by Roger Célestin et al. New York: Macmillan (2003): 202. Catherine Breillat's "film Romance had received much praise—and criticism—the previous year for using a porn-film actor and a scene showing a nonsimulated sexual act, including a shot of an erection in the foreground."
  4. ^ "Movies Like 9 Songs (2004)". 2 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Romance (1999)". Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  6. ^ Film classification listing for Romance at Alberta Film Ratings
  7. ^ Film classification listing for Romance at Maritime Film Classification Board (Rating is listed at bottom)

External links[edit]