105 minutes
May 23, 6:15 PM
Visual Arts Presentation Lab SME 149

Set in Paris and New York, A Couch in New York stars William Hurt and Juliette Binoche in one of Akerman’s rare romantic comedies. Shot partly on location, as well as at the Babelsberg studios outside Berlin, the film fulfills the traditionally American idea that opposites attract. Harry Harriston (Hurt) is a New York psychoanalyst in need of a break, and Beatrice Saulnier (Binoche) is a would-be dancer eagerly sought after by Parisian suitors. They each post ads for an apartment exchange in the Herald Tribute on the same day. Binoche moves into Harriston’s Fifth Avenue apartment, while Harriston takes up residence in Saulnier’s disheveled flat in a bohemian neighborhood. When Harriston comes back to New York sooner than planned, he doesn’t manage to tell Saulnier who he really is and moves to his cousin’s place in Brooklyn where he faces his own impoverished roots. Meanwhile, Saulnier has appropriated Harriston’s patients and becomes remarkably adept at talking them through their problems. Harriston ultimately becomes one of the people she helps.