Original Score

Le Divorce

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The soundtrack to Le Divorce, Merchant Ivory's film adaptation of Diane Johnson's 1997 National Book Award-winning novel, features a mix of French pop and Richard Robbins' French-inspired score, a fitting match for both the film's Parisian setting and its story of two American sisters involved in complicated relationships with French men. Robbins' lilting, delicate compositions are punctuated by classic French pop such as Serge Gainsbourg's "En Relisant Ta Lettre," Patrick Bruel and Johnny Halliday's "Qu'est Est-Ce Qu'on Attend Pour Être Heureux," and Jane Birkin's "L'Anamour." The score also includes an excerpt of the music from Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, a film that appears briefly in Le Divorce but has a bigger impact on its overall story and tone. Robbins' score strikes a good balance between being decorative and atmospheric; while the saxophone runs on pieces like "Roxy and Isabel" tend to be over the top, and tracks like "The Tower" and "Santa Barbara" sound somewhat melodramatic, for the most part orchestral cues such as "A Kelly Bag and Tisane," "Train to the Country," and "Carousel and Thoughts of Suicide" are subtly evocative of Paris' romance and the women's romantic distress. The score also includes two hidden tracks, Carla Bruni's "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" and les Elles' "Pamela Peacemaker." While Le Divorce may not be the most consistent score, it is one of the better pieces of music to come from a romantic comedy in some time.

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