L'amour Dangereux is a beautifully filmed and very well written (François Lemaire, Steve Suissa and Samantha Mazeras) story that finds more information about the early stages of love in the young set than a score of other films. Director Steve Suissa knows exactly how to balance the motivations and the responses of his cast, making a potentially predictable story one that holds our attention - and hearts - from the first frame to the last.
Simon (Nicholas Cazale, a formidable screen presence) is a lower class laborer, kind, caring, industrious, and 'in love' with a girl Noemie (Jennifer Decker) he has observed since childhood, a girl whose parents are property (shop) owners and thus in another class. Always ready to increase his work to make a better salary, Simon accepts a questionable 'job' for 500 Euros for just 2 hours work. Needless to say the job is a robbery and Simon, in the course of the failed robbery, assaults a policeman who is attacking his friend, wounding the policeman badly. The others in the robbery are caught but Simon escapes. He visits the café where Noemie works, asks her if she has car keys and Noemie not only gives Simon her father's car and keys, but also asks Simon to accompany him on his escape.
The remainder of the film is a road trip with Simon (who is age 18) and Noemie (age 16) running from the police. They find joys in nature, live in a small shack on the beach, and fall in love in one of the most sensitively written sequences on film. Simon is hesitant to say he loves Noemie because he feels responsible for her: Noemie begins to feel she must return home but will stay if Simon will only say he loves her. The cops led by the wily inspector Queyrolles (Bruno Wolkowitch) close in and Simon is captured and the manner in which the film ends is one that reinforces the importance of truth in life and relationships. What could have been a Hollywoodesque ending complete with suicide leap is instead a tender working through of personal growth.
Nicolas Cazale is one of the more sensitive actors in French film today ('Three Dancing Slaves', multiple TV roles) and this film should make him a star. The entire cast - including Marc Samuel as Simon's misunderstood father - is splendid. The cinematography is magnificent and the tender musical scoring mixing Schubert, Chopin and modern songs fit the mood perfectly. This is an amazing little film that bravely takes on issues of the Romeo and Juliet manner and remains entirely unique. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp
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