Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Love Songs (Les Chansons d’Amour) FRENCH

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Parisian Drama Features Daring Game of Musical Beds

Julie (ludivine Sagnier) and Ismael (Louis Garrel) are a young Parisian couple stuck in a relationship which has seemingly lost its spark. So, to spice things up, they invite Alice (Clotilde Hesme), an attractive bisexual, to share their bed. However, this arrangement works out more for the frisky females who focus on each other sexually while teasing Ismael about being the world’s worst lover and a mini-Jew who isn’t circumcised.
He deals with the situation by breaking into song, something most of the characters in this amusing musical are prone to do periodically in lieu of dealing with their emotional issues in a meaningful manner. In fact, there’s a marked contrast between the storyline’s sobering themes, and the relatively lighthearted show tunes, a baker’s dozen in all, being belted out by various performers.
The plot thickens when tragedy strikes leaving Alice and Ismael unexpectedly alone. After she dumps him for another guy (Yannick Renier), he entertains the idea of going gay for the dude’s seductive brother (Gergoire Leprince Ringuet). Will he or won’t me? That’s the pressing question expected to keep you on the edge of your seat for the duration of Love Songs, the latest offering from Christian Honore.
While this flick fails to measure up to either of Honores’ last two pictures, Dans Paris or Ma Mere, the overambitious project still earns an A for effort, if only a D for execution. The film’s glaring flaw rests with the tameness of the goings-on with precious little in the way of titillation ever making its way to the screen, given all the shameless coupling and uncoupling.
.Why make a movie about bohemian swingers, if all you’re going to serve up is the French equivalent of a Broadway musical?

Good (2 stars)
In French with subtitles.
Running time: 95 minutes
Studio: IFC Films and Red Envelope Entertainment

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