The film and television industry has been facing (entirely merited) accusations for decades that originality is in short supply, but the way Dangerous Liaisons is performing on Netflix only underlines the reasons why creative minds keep returning to the well.
Across film and television, the modern-day update of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ 1872 novel inspired by the social media age marks the 13th time the tale has been told across the big and small screens, with a 20 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and 3.8/10 IMDb rating indicating that it might be the worst so far.
And yet, Rachel Suissa’s reinvention has nonetheless managed to become the third most-watched title on the platform’s global charts this weekend, having cracked the Top 10 in a massive 63 countries split across multiple continents, as per FlixPatrol. Once again, it doesn’t matter what the critics think, or even viewers in this case; the streaming service’s built-in brand awareness is more than enough to get the job done.
This time, the story follows 17 year-old Célène, who falls head over heels for resident rogue Tristan, blissfully aware that former child actor, Instagram influencer, and fellow student Vanessa has orchestrated the entire romance in the name of likes. Cue lust, jealousy, rage, and righteous fury, in a relentlessly banal retelling of a familiar tale that’s destined to have scholars up in arms.
Make no mistake, though, this is going to be far from the last time we see Dangerous Liaisons brought into the live-action realm, but we can only hope the next attempt is better.