Exquisite-looking, if bloodless, melodrama about doomed love. Lea (Pfeiffer) is a still beautiful, middle-aged courtesan in Belle Epoque Paris, now retired from her very successful career. She exchanges barbs and gossip with former colleague Charlotte (Bates), who has a louche teenaged son nicknamed Cheri (Friend), and Charlotte decides Lea should give him some seasoning. Six years later the mismatched lovers are still together, refusing to recognize any of the deep emotions they have for each other. Then Charlotte makes other plans for Cheri's future, and Lea plays at not caring. Based on two novels by Colette.