In a story interspersed with interview tales of romantic pitfalls, friendship turns to romantic rivalry for gay man Francis and straight woman Marie when a veritable Adonis named Nicolas enters their lives. Sexual tensions mount as Francis and Marie await Nicolas' show of preference.Written by
The movie is inspired (to some extent) by Woody Allen 's Husbands and Wives (1992). See more »
When Nicolas and Marie by accident run into Francis at the Vietnamese restaurant, Francis introduces Nicolas to his friend Antony. However, in the first scene of the movie you can see that Nicolas already has met Antony as they all sit at the same dinner table. There is nothing to say that either Francis didn't realize they knew each other, or that Nicolas and Antony were merely playing dumb and avoiding an awkward situation. See more »
I love you. I really want to kiss you. I don't know why I'm telling you this.
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Zany and fun, hymn to clueless yet flaming creatures
Young director Xavier Dolan's most recent feature was easily the find of the London Film Festival for me. Funnily enough I almost walked out, having come from an extremely dour realist movie (Mike Leigh's Another Year) and been presented with an extremely stylised and fairly ironic confection, and thus being quite dysphoric and skeptical. But it really blossomed out to superb effect. Some critical horses have baulked at the first fence though! The film concerns young love. The two leads of the story are both searching for perfect love and attempting to create the perfect personas to market themselves. Marie is just lovable, she creates this image where she dresses in vintage fifties clothes, with hair and makeup to match, sends letters in black envelopes addressed in gold glitter pen, she reads all the right stuff, including Quebecois poet Gaston Miron, to impress boys with her intellect. Her friend, rival and sometimes lover Francis (played by Xavier Dolan himself) is 5/6ths gay (by the Kinsey scale, which is mentioned in the film) and both are after the same man, Nicolas, who has blond curls and is straight out of an erotic dream of Cocteau (shots of Cocteau drawings are edited into the movie at one point).
Love here is all about style, our "heroes" turn up to only the most fabulous parties, where only exactly the right music plays, Moet flows generously and where only the beautiful people lounge. Have you money, looks, wit, are you fun, are you educated, these are the criteria for these young folk in their quest to get together. Although the alternate title to the film "Love, Imagined" is accurate in many respects, I think it underestimates the headiness and the glory of these admittedly judgemental and narcissistic love throes.
The soundtrack is mostly superb and will be finding its way to my MP3 player. One thing I would criticise though is the repeated use of Bach Cello Suites played over tepid love scenes, it just comes off as odd. Dalida's Italian language version of Bang Bang (... you shot me down) is also repeatedly played and works to much better effect. Favourite party music for me would be Exactement by Vive la Fête (lyrics repeat "Adorable Formidable").
I like the refreshing honesty with which people talk in the movie about love and rejection, one woman saying it takes her a year to get over, which sounds about right to me (coming up on 11 months myself, with the end in sight!).
Absolutely loved the ending when Nicolas walks up to Marie and Francis in the party, won't spoil it but I laughed a lot and had to suppress a whoop. Definitely a feel good movie despite subject matter that could be handled in a much more downbeat manner.
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