By far, one of my absolute favorite movies is Stephen Frear's adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons. So, you can imagine that my expectations will be pretty high for Frears' latest French period piece, Cheri. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Rupert Friend (The Young Victoria) and Kathy Bates have joined the cast of Frears' take on the book by famed French novelist Collette. Friend will play the male lead, and Bates is in negotiations to play his overbearing "maman".

Originally published in 1920, Chéri was the story of an affair between an aging retired courtesan, Léa, and a pampered young man, Chéri. When it comes time for Chéri to make good on the promise of an arranged marriage, he is forced into a loveless union and then I would assume it's your usual array of romantic suffering. I mean, just look at the guy, he's got that 'romantic squint' down pat.

Just last month, Michelle Pfeiffer signed to play the aging courtesan and Friend's love interest, Lea de Lonval. Frears also wrote the adaptation with Liaisons screen writer, Christopher Hampton, which means it really is a Dangerous Liaisons reunion (if only they could have gotten Uma Thurman, Glen Close, and John Malkovich; making it the complete set). Now that all the distribution deals between Pathé and Miramax have been sorted out Cheri is ready to start production in France early this April.