A Couch in New York

Stodgy New York psychoanalyst Henry (William Hurt) swaps apartments with life-affirming Paris dancer Beatrice (Juliette Binoche) in A Couch in New York; when Henry abruptly returns, he’s astonished to find that Beatrice has taken over his practice. Intrigued, he poses as one of his own patients, and before long l’amour is in the air. This is a first-rate screwball premise — imagine what The Lady Eve‘s Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda might have done with it, with Preston Sturges at the helm — but Binoche and William Hurt are both so fundamentally grave, and director Chantal Akerman’s touch so leaden, that the expected sparks never fly. There are a few inspired moments in this movie, which premiered on Showtime, but don’t be surprised if you fall asleep on your own couch halfway through. C+

A Couch in New York
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