The Decline of the American Empire | Chicago Reader

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Unlike the fall of Rome the decline of the American Empire will be preceded not by sexual degeneracy, but by endless conversations about it. This seems to be the thesis of Canadian Denys Arcand's essay on politics and morals and talking dirty. A group of Quebecois academics retire for a holiday by a lake. The girls run off to a health club where they tell bawdy tales about men; the boys stay home to cook a fish and tell smutty stories about women. When the groups join for dinner, shocking disclosures fly, but all is resolved by dawn when the sundered couples join hands and traditional heterosexuality is vindicated—only the token homosexual, who has been spending most of the film peeing blood into a toilet, is left in the lurch. The laughs come easy in Decline, but also a bit guiltily when you recognize that this hip sex comedy is actually a reactionary tract. With Dominique Michel, Dorothee Berryman, Louise Portal, Pierre Curzi, Remy Girard, Genevieve Rioux, and Gabriel Arcand.

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