Love, etc.

1996 [FRENCH]

Comedy / Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 6.3 10 643

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January 09, 2022 at 05:16 AM

958.33 MB
fre 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 44 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by writers_reign 8 / 10

Something (Though Not A Lot) Doing

Marion Vernoux is good at pain and relationships and even better at painful relationships (she worked on the screenplay of Tonie Marshall's brilliant Venus Beaute' and wrote and directed the wonderful Rien a faire which translates as nothing doing) and here, straying into Jules et Jim territory she applies scalpel and probe to expose the diseased tissue in a melancholic menage a trois. Yvan Attal, an excellent writer director himself, and Charlotte Gainsbourg have long been an offscreen couple and often act together so it's not unusual that they make it look easy. The fatal flaw in all this is Charles Berling, a fine actor as he's demonstrated time and again but woefully lacking in the charm and charisma which we are constantly informed is Pierre's stock in trade - where other unprepossessing men sometimes laugh women into bed we can only assume that Pierre has bored his string of girl friends into bed. Apart from Jules et Jim we're also in the Forbidden Fruit ballpark here; Hitherto it's Pierre who inhabited the Fast Lane love/sex-wise while Benoit couldn't get arrested but when Benoit, against all the odds, meets and marries Marie, Pierre cannot and will not rest until he has seduced her away from his best friend and as someone once said, with friends like that ...

Vernoux contrives to inject a delicate Chekhovian melancholy into even the happier scenes and for those who insist on reading deeper meanings into even Police Academy it could be argued that Benoit is a Vanya who actually wins his great love only to lose her and wind up attempting to balance the books of his emotional life without even a niece to assist him and share his misery. If Rien a fair remains Vernoux's finest film (to date) by a mile Love, etc is an honourable second.

Reviewed by sczopek 7 / 10

rather good

"Love, etc." gently goes along like a modern version of Truffaut's "Jules & Jim"... It's a rather nice movie, well directed in a clean and polished way, quite sensitive and even touching at times... The best things about it are -no doubt- Charlotte Gainsbourg's inspired performance ("as always..." one might add), Yvon Attal's touching caracter, and an absolutely brilliant music score from Alexandre Desplat... The "not-so-good" things include a rather unconvincing and over-acted performance from Charles Berling, and the general feeling that the movie never really realises how gripping and emotional it could have been if it hadn't been so... hum... polished actually. Worth seeing though... PS : ...and now available in France on VHS, for you anonymous fan of this movie !!!

Reviewed by burrobaggy 3 / 10

Tedium, etc.

A French adaptation of a Julian Barnes novel, this is a pretty basic and very tedious romantic triangle: when shy loser Yvan Attal hooks up with Charlotte Gainsbourg, his luck changes while his best friend Charles Berling's fortunes suffer reverses as he falls for her and bores passing strangers by telling them his hopes of how to win her. Unfortunately this seems to be by going for the Anakin Skywalker route of whining her into submission, as his tiresome self-pity gradually and inexplicably wins her over.

There are a few nice moments: a wedding photo in which all three reveal their innermost thoughts, one of Berling's captive confessors asking him "Don't you ever get tired of your bulls**t?" and Berling following his comparison of an affair being as unsatisfactory as a holiday in Marbella by his nervous rambling that "Actually, Marbella can be nice at this time of year. I went there once. It's best to go off season." Similarly, his dismissal of Leonard Cohen's genius by admitting he finds a lack of imagination in rhyming 'ay' with 'ay ay ay' neatly punctures Attal's tendency to play Cohen's waltz at every opportunity. Unfortunately they are few and far between, and Berling is astonishingly annoying here. You keep on waiting for someone to hit him, repeatedly (now there's an idea for a movie!), but it never happens. There is one great final confrontation when Attal confronts the two: his performance has real power here and the writing mirrors the ebb and flow and awkwardness of such moments. But it's not enough.

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