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Love Me If You Dare (2003)

Jeux d'enfants (original title)
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A love story between two psychopaths that turns into a dare-or-not-dare game.

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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Thibault Verhaeghe ...
Joséphine Lebas-Joly ...
Emmanuelle Grönvold ...
Julien's Mother
Gérard Watkins ...
Julien's Father
...
Julia Faure ...
Sophie's Sister
Laëtizia Venezia Tarnowska ...
Christelle Louise Bouchard (as Laetizia Venezia)
...
Aurélie Miller
Nathalie Nattier ...
Robert Willar ...
Julien (80 ans)
Frédéric Geerts ...
Igor
Manuela Sanchez ...
Teacher
Philippe Drecq ...
School Principal
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Storyline

Julien Janvier lost his mother young, drifted apart from his working class father and ever closer to confident Sophie Kowalsky, the Polish class outsider. Their dares game, symbolized by an interchanged music-box, grows ever bolder, regardless of harm to others and each-other. In his college years, it even suspends their relationship and toys with their marriages, but they are drawn back to each-other irresistibly. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Are you game? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

28 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Me If You Dare  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,846,997 (France) (19 September 2003)

Gross:

$548,707 (USA) (1 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is dedicated to Yann Samuell's parents-in-law Gerard and Sonia. Gerard and Sonia lent their house to Yann Samuell while he was writing the screenplay. The two were killed in a car crash a week before the film was released. See more »

Goofs

The first time we see the bus driver chasing the bus his hat falls off towards the left side of the road. The second time it drops directly behind him to the right of the middle. See more »

Quotes

Sophie Kowalski: Don't say a word. Let me talk. You missed me? Because I missed you. You're a real tyrant. It's so hard to be mad at you. But don't kid yourself, I still am. I want to talk and forget the game, just for once. Like my dress? I hesitated. Nabbed it off my sister. She has another red one, like a thermonuclear bombshell... That's the one I should've worn. I must've spent... three hours in front of the mirror. But I got there, see? I'm pretty. You better like it, or I'll kill you!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Karle Pyaar Karle (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

La Vie en Rose
Music by Louiguy and Marguerite Monnot
Lyrics by Édith Piaf
Performed by Louis Armstrong, Donna Summer, Zazie and Trio Esperanza
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Love Means Saying "Game"
27 August 2005 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

The first feature from French director Yann Samuell is an "expressionistic" allegory about love, disguised as a romantic fantasy. It is about how in our relationships we never outgrow childhood games or fully recover from the insecurities caused by deep childhood wounds. It is about how people in love constantly test each other. Each dare is a renewed demand for the other person to prove their love, no matter what the sacrifice.

"Love Me If You Dare" is a gimmick translation of "Jeux d'enfants", a better translation would be "Games of Children". But given the general confusion about this film by English speaking viewers and critics the inaccurate title is probably appropriate. Film Theory 101 would include a discussion of the two basic film extremes, realism and expressionism. Generally the closer a film comes to reproducing reality, the less room there is for the filmmaker to express his artistry. Which is not to say that realism is necessarily less manipulative than expressionism, both aim to effect their viewing audience, expressionism is just less constrained.

When you are used to a steady diet of Hollywood realism, it is difficult to switch gears and watch a film like "Jeux d'enfants" without attempting to force it into the realism mold. The temptation is to gloss over the surreal elements and to take everything you see literally. But Samuell has a background as an illustrator and designer. Note the inventive visuals that employ a multitude of cardboard cutouts and idyllic fantasy settings. This is expressionism. Note the accelerated action segments and strange transitions. This is expressionism. Note the interesting time passage montages and flashbacks.

While you sometimes see similar stuff incorporated into a realistic film, it is explained away as a dream, hallucination, or memory. Here it is a tip-off that this is a surreal allegory like Bunuel's "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie". If you avoid taking "Jeux d'enfants" too literally, stop being judgmental about the actions and motivations of its characters, and focus instead on picking up its allegorical elements you will probably understand it better and enjoy it more.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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