Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

A Couch in New York

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
6.2/101 Votes Alchetron
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Director  Chantal Akerman
Music director  Sonia Wieder-Atherton
Country  France-Germany-Belgium
6/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Romance
Language  English-French
A Couch in New York movie poster
Release date  1996
Writer  Chantal Akerman (scenario), Jean-Louis Benoit (scenario), Chantal Akerman (dialogue)
Initial release  February 21, 1996 (Belgium)
Producers  Jacqueline Pierreux, Jean-Luc Ormieres, Diana Elbaum, Ingrid Windisch, Regine Konckier
Cast  Juliette Binoche (Béatrice Saulnier), William Hurt (Henry Harriston), Paul Guilfoyle (Dennis), Richard Jenkins (Campton), Stephanie Buttle (Anne), Barbara Garrick (Lizbeth Honeywell)
Similar movies  The Last Witch Hunter, Captain America: The First Avenger, John Wick, The Avengers, Mission: Impossible, Sexual Chronicles of a French Family
Tagline  A Man... A Woman... A Dog... The perfect combination for romance...

A Couch in New York (French title Un divan à New York) is a 1996 film about an anonymous exchange of apartments between a successful New York psychoanalyst and a young woman from Paris. It was written and directed by Chantal Akerman.


A Couch in New York wwwgstaticcomtvthumbdvdboxart17691p17691d

A couch in new york trailer 1996


A Couch in New York A Couch in New York 1996

Henry Harriston is a psychoanalyst whose patients are driving him crazy by constantly leaving him messages during his off hours. On a whim he places an ad offering up his apartment for a housing swap. Béatrice Saulnier (Juliette Binoche) a Parisian dancer responds to his ad and without meeting the two switch apartments. Béatrice is impressed with Henry's high-tech apartment which is both beautiful and spacious. Henry meanwhile is horrified when he arrives in Béatrice's apartment and finds it filthy and messy.

A Couch in New York Amazoncom A Couch in New York Juliette Binoche William Hurt

Meanwhile, Henry's patients, who Henry sees at home, begin coming to his apartment seeking therapy. Béatrice begins listening to their stories, and the patients accept her as Henry's temporary replacement.

A Couch in New York Cineplexcom A Couch in New York

At Béatrice's apartment Henry discovers a cache of love-letters written to Béatrice by various men. Béatrice's lovers also begin showing up in her apartment and talking to Henry about their love for her. When they begin calling the apartment telling Henry how helpful he was and how they want to talk to him again he turns tail and returns to New York.

A Couch in New York A Couch In New York Trailer 1996 YouTube

Originally intending to simply pick up his mail, Henry notices that his patients keep coming in and out of his apartment and, when he tries to enter his apartment, is pushed out by Béatrice's friend who is posing as her receptionist. Believing that Béatrice is intentionally running a scam, he goes to confront her, posing as a fake patient, John. Instead of confronting her however, he keeps up the ruse of being a patient, but is unable to talk and the session consists of Béatrice and Henry saying "Yes" back and forth at one another. Despite this, the two find themselves attracted to one another and the session ends with Béatrice suggesting that Henry, as John, come back. Henry meanwhile is convinced that Béatrice really does mean well and decides to keep up the ruse and continue seeing her.

A Couch in New York A Couch in New York 1996 Find your film movie recommendation

After a particular session in which Henry talks about his distant relationship with his mother, both Henry and Béatrice begin to think they've fallen in love with one another. Henry refuses to say anything, feeling too cowardly, while Béatrice's friend tells her she cannot be involved in a relationship with a patient. Béatrice and Henry become close and continue to feel strongly towards one another. During one of their sessions the light turns off and both secretly whisper love confessions in the dark, but neither hear's what the other is saying. Henry's friend urges him to run to Béatrice or write her a letter but as these are all things that Béatrice's previous lovers have done that have failed, Henry refuses. He decides that the only way the situation will be resolved is if Béatrice confesses her love to him. Instead she calls him late at night to tell him their sessions must come to an end as she is returning to Paris. Henry tells Béatrice he loves her, but she hangs up before she hears what he has said.

Henry rushes to the airport hoping to get a last minute flight to Paris. Unfortunately, the plane is overbooked. Henry decides to wait on standby. He is able to get the last ticket as one passenger has not shown up, however that ticket belonged to Béatrice, so while Henry flies to Paris, searching the plane, looking for Béatrice, Béatrice stays behind.

Eventually arriving home, Béatrice realizes she cannot go to her apart as Henry is still in her apartment and goes to stay with her neighbour. On her neighbour's terrace she sees her plants which have flourished in her absence. She strikes up a conversation with Henry, who she cannot see through the plants. He disguises his voice so she will not recognize him. Talking to Henry through the plants Béatrice confesses that she came early because she had fallen in love with one of Henry's patients, John.

Realizing that Henry and John are one and the same person, Béatrice climbs over the terrace back into her apartment and kisses Henry, telling him she loves him.


  • Juliette Binoche - Béatrice Saulnier
  • William Hurt - Henry Harriston
  • Stephanie Buttle - Anne
  • Barbara Garrick - Lizbeth Honeywell
  • Paul Guilfoyle - Dennis
  • Richard Jenkins - Campton
  • Kent Broadhurst - Tim
  • Matthew Burton - Wood
  • Henry Bean - Stein
  • Bernard Breuse - Jérôme
  • Adam LeFevre - Restaurant Patron
  • Boris Leskin - Cab Driver #1
  • Tiffany Frazer - Julie
  • Wendy Way - Employee at Airport
  • Jerry Dean - Cab Driver #2
  • Reception

    The film received poor reviews upon release. Akerman, Binoche and Hurt were criticized for being poor at handling both the comedic and romantic aspects of the film.


    A Couch in New York Wikipedia
    A Couch in New York IMDb A Couch in New York

    Similar Topics
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    John Wick
    Mission: Impossible