The title is the term of endearment given to a charming young reporter by a series of influential Parisian women. Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel about cunning climber Georges Duroy combined juicy sensuality with stinging social commentary, as scumbag journalists played footsie with corrupt politicians. This British production, helmed by theater directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, seems more concerned with getting period details in place than preserving the story's power. Georges, whose handsome face hides ugly motives, is a complex role, and Robert Pattinson just doesn't have —sorry, Rob — the fangs to pull it off. A worthy adaptation would have a soupçon of The Sweet Smell of Success. This one too often presents Georges as a stooge. The actresses fare better. Uma Thurman gives a comic edge — as well as intellectual heft — to Madeleine, the brain behind the byline of more than one male writer; and Christina Ricci is effervescent as fun-loving Clotilde.