10 user 4 critic

Love Forbidden (2002)

Défense d'aimer (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 16 October 2002 (France)
Bruce leaves his girlfriend behind in Paris for an arts fellowship that will allow him to live and work in Rome. Staying at a villa that once belonged to the Medici and being allowed to ... See full summary »


Rodolphe Marconi




Cast overview:
Rodolphe Marconi Rodolphe Marconi ... Bruce
Andrea Necci Andrea Necci ... Matteo
Echo Danon ... Aston
Orietta Gianjorio Orietta Gianjorio ... Orietta, la barmaid
Hervé Brunon Hervé Brunon ... Germain
Maria Teresa De Belis Maria Teresa De Belis ... Maria Teresa, la bibliothécaire
Irene D'Agostino Irene D'Agostino ... Irene
Tomazo D'Ulisia Tomazo D'Ulisia ... Tomaso


Bruce leaves his girlfriend behind in Paris for an arts fellowship that will allow him to live and work in Rome. Staying at a villa that once belonged to the Medici and being allowed to write full time seems like a dream until he meets Matteo, a native of Rome who works at the villa. Daily exposure to renaissance art and ancient Roman statuary and the looks of desire that he thinks he recognizes in Matteo's eyes leads Bruce to question his own sexual orientation. Why does Matteo seem to enjoy falling asleep in Bruce's bed so often? And why is Matteo so attentive one minute and so distant the next? If Matteo is interested, why does he also seem so interested in Irene, the American girl? And if Bruce is straight why does he care so much? Written by havan_ironoak@bigfoot.com

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User Reviews

Good Premise...
29 November 2004 | by kara-reddingSee all my reviews

The most notable thing about this film as you begin to watch it is the way it's filmed. It strikes the viewer immediately as low budget, because the cinematography resembles that of a home movie. The story is rather hard to follow (especially with a bunch of giggly girls sitting behind you) and the acting is… eh. However, the manner with which it is presented it very interesting. Instead of showing the viewer certain specific things and telling him through dialogue what is going on, the director takes a more realistic approach and simply shows you snippets of the characters' lives.

The premise of the film, which is a French college student coming to Rome to study and subsequently falling for an Italian boy there, seems all well and good, but it becomes tedious as the Italian starts chasing after an American female student. Only the character of Bruce, I found, was actually interesting and realistic. Rodolphe Marconi, who plays him, does a good job portraying Bruce's facets of affection for the Italian boy, Matteo. The most satisfying scenes are those when the viewer sees Bruce presumably speaking to Matteo, exposing his feelings only to find that the French boy is simply pretending, practicing his speeches or fantasizing intimacy between the pair. It is these scenes that evoke a pitiful emotion from the viewer, because it is something that real people do. Unfortunately for this film, it seems that budget wouldn't allow the story of such a great premise be properly produced into a quality film.

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French | English | Italian

Release Date:

16 October 2002 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Forbidden See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,075, 9 November 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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