7.7/10
62,577
106 user 74 critic

Love Me If You Dare (2003)

Jeux d'enfants (original title)
Trailer
1:47 | Trailer

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ON DISC
As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children -- a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another's pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another.

Director:

Yann Samuell

Writer:

Yann Samuell
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Guillaume Canet ... Julien Janvier
Marion Cotillard ... Sophie Kowalsky
Thibault Verhaeghe Thibault Verhaeghe ... Julien à 8 ans
Joséphine Lebas-Joly Joséphine Lebas-Joly ... Sophie à 8 ans
Emmanuelle Grönvold Emmanuelle Grönvold ... Julien's Mother
Gérard Watkins Gérard Watkins ... Julien's Father
Gilles Lellouche ... Sergei Nimov Nimovitch
Julia Faure Julia Faure ... Sophie's Sister
Laëtizia Venezia Tarnowska Laëtizia Venezia Tarnowska ... Christelle Louise Bouchard (as Laetizia Venezia)
Élodie Navarre ... Aurélie Miller
Nathalie Nattier Nathalie Nattier ... Sophie à 80 ans
Robert Willar Robert Willar ... Julien (80 ans)
Frédéric Geerts Frédéric Geerts ... Igor
Manuela Sanchez Manuela Sanchez ... Teacher
Philippe Drecq 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Belgium

Language:

French

Release Date:

28 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Me If You Dare See more »

Filming Locations:

Liège, Wallonia, Belgium See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,998,752 (France), 17 September 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,546, 23 May 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$548,707, 3 October 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,007,867, 29 June 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After playing the daughter of Polish immigrants Sophie Kowalsky in this movie, 10 years later Marion Cotillard played another Polish character in The Immigrant (2013), Ewa Cybulska. 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

Julien à 8 ans: [narrating] This game started with a pretty house. A pretty bus with no driver. A pretty box... and a pretty girl.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Karle Pyaar Karle (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Love Means Saying "Game"
27 August 2005 | by aimless-46See 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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