Murphy is an American living in Paris who enters a highly sexually and emotionally charged relationship with the unstable Electra. Unaware of the effect it will have on their relationship, they invite their pretty neighbor into their bed.
Murphy is an American cinema school student, living in Paris. He had a French girlfriend, called Electra, whom he dated for two years. One day, they met and had a no-strings-attached threesome with another woman, a young blonde Danish teenager named Omi, as a way to add some excitement to their love life. But later, he had sex with her behind Electra's back, as a result of which Omi became pregnant. This unplanned pregnancy ended the relationship between Murphy and Electra on a horrible note, and it forced Murphy to marry Omi. In one morning, Electra's mother, Nora, phones him to ask if he's heard from Electra, because she hasn't heard from her for three months, and given her daughter's suicidal tendencies. For the rest of this day, he recalls his past two years with Electra in a series of fragmented, nonlinear flashbacks; how they first met in Paris, their quick hookup, and their lives over the next two years which is filled with drug abuse, rough sex and tender moments.
Lead actor Karl Glusman on his preparation: "I watched a lot of movies. Gaspar [Gaspar Noé] is constantly watching films and sending me titles. I watched In the Realm of the Senses (1976). I watched Don't Look Now (1973). I admire Mark Rylance immensely. He did a movie called Intimacy (2001), where you see him put a condom on. I thought if Mr. Rylance could do it, and I want to be like him, I could follow. It was very hard to prepare when you don't know what you're going to shoot and you don't have any dialogue to memorize."  See more »
Murphy uses a Loreo 3D camera to take pictures of Electra. At one point he turns the camera on end to shoot. This means the two resulting images will not align correctly to make a single stereoscopic picture.
He also neglects to use the flash in the dimly lit room. See more »
You against the abortion but you cool with people killing animals and then eating them?
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Well-made project but ends up tripping over its own interpretation of reality.
Overly ambitious project about a millennial love arc that ends in heartbreak, but what are the lessons learned? Murphy (Karl Glusman) is an open-minded film student in Paris who meets Elektra (Aomi Muyock), and the two embrace their high sex drives with giddyness. However, after the relationship embraces polyamory and swingers culture, only one of the two is emotionally stable enough to handle it.
The film is directed really well by Noé, who by now should know well enough how to make it all super claustrophobic and uncomfortable for the viewer. The cinematography is good but relies too heavily on saturation but it's never really an issue. Nonlinear storytelling is clear, concise, and there's some really neat editing at parts. The story does drag often, and the film overall could've cut out 10-15 minutes of filler.
The real issue with "Love" is the lack of chemistry between Murphy and Elektra -- we just don't see it, pretty much ever. The writing is there, but the actors just cannot grasp it. This is largely because -- are you ready? -- they aren't actors; Noé met both Glusman and Muyock in a club one night and asked them to star. It's clear that he wanted to achieve the most organic and natural relationship dynamic on-screen by not using "real actors" -- but in what is supposed to be an emotionally charged film, that just doesn't work.
In fact, in a sort of disturbingly surreal manner, the very same issues that the film is trying to highlight in millennial relationships (emotional maturity and boundaries over sex) seem to show up in the unsimulated sex scenes between Glusman and Muyock. Glusman constantly falls out of character, allowing his own sexual desire to ruin the scene and any emotional impact Noé was looking for. Muyock seems bored and uninterested -- and who could blame her? -- likely due to Glusman's obvious zeal about getting paid to fuck her. I'm not sure he entirely understood the fact he was in an art film, and in remaining ignorant, he ends up verifying Noé's entire thesis: young adults, especially men, get lost in the idea of sexual nirvana over the thing that truly matters: love.
The second half of the film lifts the veil on Murphy's narcissistic and emotionally abusive behavior in the relationship, and tragically, Glusman is a good actor when portraying an unstable douchebag (and Muyock is phenomenal when screaming at him).
The film finishes the same place it starts, seeming to depict Murphy at rock-bottom in a horrible and accidental family dynamic: a fitting bookend to a relationship that was destroyed not by too much sex, but his own fear of it. The ending is eerie and powerful, and hints at the generational ripples that will be felt for decades because of his own actions. It's a great story, and sort of well-acted, but it ends up merely tripping up on its own interpretation of reality instead of offering us anything particularly new.
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