Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group.
Alexandre de La Patellière,
In Paris, Ella, a.k.a. Hell, is a promiscuous and reckless teenager with absent upper class parents that does not study or work and spends her time going to night-clubs, using cocaine and ... See full summary »
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Maria de Medeiros,
Bahia Benmahmoud, a free-spirited young woman, has a particular way of seeing political engagement, as she doesn't hesitate to sleep with those who don't agree with her to convert them to her cause - which is a lot of people, as all right-leaning people are concerned. Generally, it works pretty well. Until the day she meets Arthur Martin, a discreet forty-something who doesn't like taking risks. She imagines that with a name like that, he's got to be slightly fascist. But names are deceitful and appearances deceiving... Written by
A very good friend and I saw this film at the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival. We both thought that it was hilarious and charming. Within the first fifteen minutes of the film, the theater was resounding with loud bursts of laughter from the audience. That continued throughout the course of the film. Frequently, French "comedies" can be very intelligent, enjoyable and well worth seeing. But they are rarely, (at least since the days of Jacques Tati') "laugh out loud" funny. I am very frustrated by the fact that (at least to my knowledge) there has not been a major release of this film in the movie theaters in the Los Angeles area. I would love to be able to share this delightful film with family and friends! I have been able to locate very few reviews of the film by media film critics. While virtually all of these reviews have been very positive, some have tended to pigeon-hole the film as being a satire of some of the more esoteric components of French culture and society, and therefore not likely to be of interest to film-goers who are not especially knowledgeable or interested in a comedy focused on such a theme.
This could not be further from the truth! The reality is that the film works wonderfully on its own terms, and that to thoroughly enjoy it one need not be particularly conversant in the intricacies or peculiarities of French culture. I am praying that, at the very least, the film is released in a home video format with English language subtitles. Then, at least, purveyors of fine foreign films would get the opportunity to see and enjoy it.! And I would not be deprived of the vast pleasure of sharing it with friends who enjoy high quality films!
Update: Very good news! Subsequent to the writing of this review, both the Sunday LA Times and the Sunday New York Times published special editions of their summer movie "sneaks" ie films to be released this summer-and both indicated that "The Names of Love" would be playing in theaters commencing around the end of June/beginning of July. Don't miss it!
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