Say “Cyrano” and most Americans will first think of Steve Martin and his 1987 film – Roxanne. That’s fine as long as we remember that Roxanne was a modern retelling of Edmond Rostand’s masterpiece Cyrano de Bergerac, the romantic tragicomedy that tells of a brilliant, yet not so handsome poet who felt himself too ugly to declare his immense love for his cousin Roxane.
It is that Cyrano that CYRANO, MY LOVE speaks of, and more particularly of Rostand, the writer. He was 29 years old when he penned Cyrano de Bergerac, having gathered some ideas from the real life story of a man by that name. To this day, Rostand’s play is considered the greatest success in French theater. Cyrano de Bergerac turned him into an overnight star, at a time before film, when theater was as popular as TV series and movies are to us today.
CYRANO, MY LOVE introduces us to Rostand (played by Thomas Soliveres), and to his family, his obsession with writing in verse, and to the dramatic way in which he became famous. The film is directed by Alexis Michalik, who first wrote the story for theater under the title Edmond. Once Edmond became a success, Michalik got the financial backing to rewrite it for film. CYRANO, MY LOVE was then filmed in Prague, dressed to look as Paris at the end of the 19th century.
The result is a lovely film told in French and Russian (with English subtitles) that gives us a peek into the Paris of 1897 and awakens the desire to go back to the theater and even of re-reading the classic story.
CYRANO, MY LOVE opens Friday, Oct. 18, at Laemmle’s Royal Theater, located at 11523 Santa Monica Blvd, in Los Angeles, CA 90025. It will then move to Playhouse 7 in Pasadena and to Town Center 5 in Encino on Oct. 25. The film is 112 minutes long, rated R for brief nudity. Click here for more information.