Brandende Liefde


by Tuna

"Burning Love" is an earthy romantic comedy from the Netherlands - heavy on the comedy.

Two art students in Amsterdam want to win a scholarship to study in Paris and feel that learning French will give them an advantage. They find the perfect solution in an old woman who not only teaches French, but has influence over the scholarship selection. She lives with her ancient father, who is ill, and a couple, Monique van de Ven and her violinist husband. They are able to secure French lessons with her, and end up living in her attic in exchange for taking care of her father. The students' real reason for staying in her house, however, is to get close enough to Monique van de Ven to get her to pose nude.

As an idea of the humor, one of the artists is at the table for mid-morning coffee, a delightful Dutch custom, and the father is farting. The landlady is trying to ignore him. She offers milk to the artist, and starts pouring it into his coffee before he can say no. He starts stirring it, and it is curdled. He takes a drink anyway, just as the father farts loudly, and he sprays it all over the table.

Other events in this film will have you scratching your head, like Monique van de Ven masturbating one of the artists, or footage of Monique giving birth with inserts of an actual childbirth. Monique was clearly not pregnant for real, as she was married to cinematographer Jan de Bont from 1970 to 1987, and he had no children during that time. Given that fact, the prosthetic stomach was very well done.

It is interesting that the source novel was written by Jan Wolkers, who also wrote Spetters and Turks Fruit, both directed by Paul Verhoeven and photographed by de Bont. Monique appeared in Turks Fruit and in yet another film (Keetje Tippel) directed by Verhoeven and photographed by her husband de Bont. Although Verhoeven went on to great success in Hollywood (Showgirls, Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers, Total Recall and Robocop), as did de Bont (Die Hard, Basic Instinct), their earlier Dutch collaborations are believed by many, including me, to be their finest work. Burning Love certainly suffers by comparison to the Verhoeven/de Bont catalogue, although it is probably funny enough to be watchable if you speak Dutch (the DVD has no subtitles) and if lowbrow physical humor appeals to you. If not, stay away unless you are interested in the nudity, which is excellent.

 Brandende Liefde (Burning Love)

  • It is carried in the US by Click on the image above for details.
  • All-region PAL.
  • In Dutch, NO subtitles.


No English-language reviews available.


5.7 IMDB summary (of 10)




  • Monique van de Ven and Ellen Fogel show everything, and Zillah Emanuels shows breasts and buns.
  • Male full frontal in two scenes.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: