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In 1645, the French playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin -- better known as Molière -- mysteriously disappeared for several weeks, and this lavish comedy drama imagines a scenario that could explain what may have happened to him. At this time, Molière (Romain Duris) is touring the French countryside with his traveling theater company, and he's yet to be recognized as one of the continent's great authors (or achieve significant financial success). Molière is put in jail after skipping out on some unpaid debts, but is freed after his fine is paid by two strangers. Molière… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Director and cowriter Laurent Tirard are clearly under the sway of Shakespeare in Love, but the talented Duris is miscast as the wily Moliere, and Moliere has none of Shakespeare's giddy charm."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"Like the playwright's comedies, at its best Moliere shows the depths beneath the archetypes."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Deluxe tribute to the playwright gets by, surprisingly, as much by romantic poignancy as's hard to dislike a picture so in Love with its subject."
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Un cuadro social de época vivaz y divertido, con estupendo elenco y una cuota de romance y emotividad."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"An amusing and clever film, often laugh-out-loud funny and filled with sparkling characters."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"An extravagant and thoroughly irresistible story of intrigue, romance, comedy and artistic inspiration."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Woefully miscast as the seminal 17th-century French farceur Molière, the intense, black-maned young French movie star Romain Duris never seems more comfortable than the brief moments when he's rotting in a dank jail."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"A breezy historical romance with a strong knack for comedy."
‑ David Cornelius,
"For theater people and French literature buffs...a delightful game of spot-the-reference..."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
""Moliere" actually tells a funny, involving story that really does seem inspired by its subject, rather than just lazily cribbing from his work."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Lost in the exercise is any insight into Molière's writing or any relevance to today, making his achievements seem more frivolous -- and considerably less amusing -- than they actually were."
‑ Peter Debruge, Miami Herald
"Witty lines, sumptuous settings, manicured lawns and horses with carriages provide the setting for this frivolous romp that caresses history as it plays with the misadventures of French playwright Molière %u2026 With just the right balance of playfulness"
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"A sumptuous pleasure to behold, with its elegantly designed motifs, infectious energy conveying the emotional sensibility of the time, and splendid comic mischief satirizing the hypocrisy of both the bourgeoisie and aristocracy."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"As the film picks up momentum, however, it becomes the story of an aimless young man who discovers his own brilliant wit and learns how to use it. As he gets closer to the scathing, fearless Moliere we know and love, so does the movie."
‑ Loey Lockerby, Kansas City Star
"The film illuminates little about Molière himself, but what do you expect from a movie that has the depth of a kiddie pool?"
‑ John Thomason, Orlando Weekly
More reviews for Molière on Rotten Tomatoes