Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A rousing "he said/she said" endeavor, The Decline of the American Empire begins by separating the boys from the girls. Preparing a gourmet dinner, four male intellectuals begin trading stories of their sexual experiences. At the same time, four well-read women, all working out in a gym, exchange their own tales from the love front. The film is set in the lofty circles of academia, a world well known to Canadian director Denys Arcand. The anecdotes related herein are based on actual events in the lives of Arcand's professorial friends. There's nothing bookish, however, about the subject matter of the stories themselves, which ranges from mild philandering to S & M. The Decline of the American Empire was the winner of eight Canadian Genie awards (that's the above-the-border equivalent of the Oscar), including Best Picture.
battle-of-the-sexes, conversation, dinner, gym, philandering, sadomasochism, sex