A Couch in New York

  • 105'
  • France
  • 1995
Burlesque comedy made on a large budget by the mistress of small and often serious independent films. A temporary apartment swap between a man in New York and a girl in Paris leads to hilarious developments. Henry (William Hurt) is a rich psychiatrist in his forties with a fantastic apartment in New York City. After his relationship breaks up he feels the need to come to himself. He puts an ad in the Paris edition of The Herald Tribune, in which he offers to swap his flat. The young dancer Beatrice (a role in which Juliette Binoche proves her great comic talent) pores over the The Herald every day to improve her English and sees Henry's ad. She replies and steps out of her frugal Parisian student life into the New York jet set. Beatrice has a whale of a time but Henry has a hard time in Paris. He plunges into the life of the chaotic inhabitants of the run-down apartment and after a few household setbacks decides to fly back to New York. But Beatrice has very convincingly adapted to her new life; she takes over Henry's psycho-analytical practice with verve (albeit at first by accident), providing Akerman with an opportunity playfully to debunk the rituals of this discipline. Beatrice and Henry turn out in the end to be impressed by each others personalities as well as their lives.
Chantal Akerman
International premiere
Countries of production
France, Germany, Belgium
Festival Edition
IFFR 1996
International title
Un divan à New York
English, French
Les Films Balenciaga, Studio Babelsberg
UGC DA, Argus Film bv (distribution)
Chantal Akerman
Juliette Binoche