See Dangerous Liasons for the plot; it was based on the same original source, and so Valmont was held back for a couple of years to avoid comparisons. Not that this will stop me from comparing the two, though Valmont does go a different route. DL was a two hour bitch war between Glenn Close and John Malkovich, Forman has expanded Valmont to flesh out the other characters. Probably wise, as Firth and Bening aren't Malkovich & Close, though they're by no means bad. Their lack of years also makes them less overtly evil, suggesting youthful high spirits, instead of malicious boredom at having "done" everything. I didn't like the ending, which seemed flat, even if on reflection it's no less downbeat. Overall, though, while Valmont is more A Hazard of Hearts than Dynasty, it's none the worse for it.