Netflix’s Dangerous Liaisons is a 2022 drama romance film directed and written by Rachel Suissa. They should have just stuck with “Pride and Prejudice”. We get it; the classics were swoon-worthy stories with an established fan base, and they’re all guaranteed to look good. So when brainstorming about the next piece of content to create, this is an easy one to pick because it guarantees some success. But it gets to the point where they just undermine the audience’s intelligence.
The worst part has to be the inclusion of social media in the narrative. We understand that the creators wanted to adapt this 200-year-old story to the sensibilities of 2022, but ended up making him a one-dimensional dystopian character. We must say that “Dangerous Liaisons” was not completely bad, but definitely less passable.
Dangerous Liaisons: Movie Synopsis
Tristan makes a bet with Vanessa, the reigning queen of social media, to make Celene fall in love with him, and bets his beach house on it. Celene is a 17-year-old girl who is engaged and has a very narrow, conservative view of the world. Making her a handy double would be a better enhancement to her character than this extremely condescending version of what Reese Witherspoon did so perfectly in Cruel Intentions. But that movie actually made us like the characters, with all their faults, which is something that this movie completely fails to do.
Tristan is in a relationship with Vanessa, but it’s fake and serves to give them social media points. To keep up with the bet, he organizes a game with Celene’s help to raise money for the student’s surgery. While preparing for this, he asks Celene out on a date where, to his chagrin, she shows up with Charlotte, her cousin who previously spent 10 years in a convent.
However, this does not stop him from kissing Celene, who becomes angry and storms off. Tristan learns that Charlotte told her to be careful of him because he is known for entering into bets that ruin people’s lives. Knowing this, he decides to take revenge by sleeping with Charlotte. Fortunately, it doesn’t work out and we save ourselves and the characters from serious trauma.
As the story unfolds, we see Tristsan and Celene slowly fall in love. At one point, as the two are about to sleep together, Celene tells Tristan that she is a virgin, causing Tristan to stop in his tracks as he begins to feel guilty as a result of his newfound love for her. That day, her fiancé Pierre visits her and she confesses that she has feelings for Tristan, which leads to her breaking up.
Days pass as they both try to come to terms with their feelings for each other. And while this is happening, Charlotte is having the time of her life. She started off as a character who, after spending her entire life in a convent, is somewhat socially awkward and more than eager to explore her life.
This was initially presented as a joke for the audience, which really confused us. Why is a girl trying to discover herself so funny just because she wears her heart on her sleeve? But the creators took it in the right direction. Charlotte has always been confident and will fall in love just as people fall in love with her. It was sweet to see.
Back to Tristan and Celene, one day he confesses to her heart to heart that his relationship with Vanessa was never real and that he was in love with Celene. He only realized it the next day. Celene lets him know that she broke up with Pierre. Tristan and Celene spend the night together.
As the day of the game approaches, Vanessa discovers the equations between people and begins to think about how to best use them to her advantage. She reveals a clip of Charlotte with Oscar and the other girl, forcing her to drop out of the game at the last minute out of sheer embarrassment. And in the game itself, she plays all her cards to get to the top of the social ladder.
Dangerous Liaisons Ending Explained: What Happened At The End?
When Tristan confesses to Vanessa that he is in love with Celene and plans to break up their fake relationship, Vanessa blackmails him into breaking up with Celene or revealing all of his secrets. Left with no choice, Tristan breaks up with her on stage, and Vanessa steps in to let her know it was all a gamble.
At the end of the deal, Vanessa doesn’t hold up her end and posts an Instagram story saying that her boyfriend “Tristan” cheated on her with “Celene” and she’s now heartbroken. After that revelation, she takes the stage to applause as the new queen of social media because of her personal tragedy — a look that could have been out of an episode of “Black Mirror.”
However, her joy is short-lived as Tristan posts a clip where he says she hates all of her followers and also reveals that their relationship was fake from the start. This causes an uproar and the tide turns against her. On the other hand, Celene witnesses all of this and finds Tristan to tell him that she forgives him and wants to restore their relationship.
This was the kind of ending that made us finally realize why the original tragic ending to the story was a better choice. So yes, Tristan and Celene end up together, which we don’t think should have happened. And Vanessa’s secrets are out, which makes us seriously worried.
We have to ask ourselves – why did we decide to remake “Dangerous Liaisons” out of all the stories out there? That work, published more than 200 years ago, had a very sketchy depiction of consent. Today, with a better understanding of the concept, how can we not understand why the story is so problematic? Yes, they showed that Tristan was glad he didn’t sleep with Charlotte, but let’s understand that it was because it meant he still had a chance with Celene, not because he thought sleeping with a girl was for revenge something bad.
And the whole concept of being intimate with someone to win a bet needs to be eradicated from television. The classic worked because of the sensibility of its time. But this is a new era with a better understanding of things and it’s despicable that we keep turning to this story to make a few bucks. That being said, the movie tried to be fast-paced and it succeeded. What didn’t work was how one-dimensional the characters were, and the high horse Celene took just wasn’t justified in any sense.
We would never recommend this movie to anyone because “Dangerous Liaisons” as a classic with all its subsequent adaptations must be erased from public memory forever.
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