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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic, funny, sad, moving
Ismael (Louis Garrel, the Gallic version of the adorable young Hugh Grant), lives with Julie (Ludivine Sagnier). Alice (Clotilde Hesme), who works with Ismael, shares their bed and Julie's affections. On a night of tragedy, Jeanne, unawares, hooks up with Gwendal (Yannick Renier), whose teen-aged brother Erwann (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet) turns out to be the only one who...
Published on August 31, 2008 by Harold S. Levine

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relationship Status: It's complicated
"Love Songs" is not what it might seem by glancing at the cover: a light-hearted musical about three young adults in love in Paris, enjoying a relationship that is more of a menage-a-trois than a love triangle. The movie takes a dark turn, and ends up exploring more types of love and more of the different emotions that love inspires than what is apparent at first...
Published 20 months ago by cs211


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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic, funny, sad, moving, August 31, 2008
By 
Harold S. Levine (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love Songs (DVD)
Ismael (Louis Garrel, the Gallic version of the adorable young Hugh Grant), lives with Julie (Ludivine Sagnier). Alice (Clotilde Hesme), who works with Ismael, shares their bed and Julie's affections. On a night of tragedy, Jeanne, unawares, hooks up with Gwendal (Yannick Renier), whose teen-aged brother Erwann (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet) turns out to be the only one who can bring a shattered Ismael back to life, in the most romantic man-on-man love scene since Rupert Grave's Alec Scudder climbed through Maurice's bedroom window 20 years ago. With rain-slicked streets, coffee and cigarettes, references to a dozen French classics, a haunting score and the best balcony scene since "Romeo and Juliet," this low-budget charmer, which has become a cult favorite in France with the under-25 set, is an "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" for the 21st Century.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...And now for something COMPLETELY different..., September 26, 2010
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This review is from: Love Songs (DVD)
I caught this film one night on the IFC and although I usually dislike subtitled movies because I get distracted from the action by having to read....I watched it and WOW. The French really know how to make a musical in the non-conformist way. Songs are blended into scenes as casually as breathing and the plots and subplots of each characters stories just weave into each other in a playful way. All of the actors do their own songs in whatever voice they have which gives a "realness" to it and the twists in the story are interesting.
It's a case of boy meets girl meets girl till death us do part and then everyone realizes what boy really wants.
If you like cine-art type films and are not going to roll your eyes when the characters calmly start singing their lines and threesomes, homosexuality and bisexuality don't freak you out...then by all means buy this film to add to your collection. I did after viewing on cable and I love it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic in its genre, December 22, 2008
This review is from: Love Songs (DVD)
Even if the French/English translation is not 100% acurate - even if the poetry has been lost in translation - this movie is a real Classico/modern sex tale of 2008.
A love triangle - sadness and love are the main theme of the movie
Great Paris shots - color and black and white - the streets - cafes - cigarettes .............. you are transported in Paris by nights most of the time.
It is the photography and musicality that makes this movie a piece of art - sometimes compared to the "parapluies de cherbourg" because of the songs styles - but for the rest we are in 2008 and deep in it.
This is VERY french, with a real style that is unique and will probably be a Classic in its genre.
If you want a trip to Paris with love stories - this is the one to get
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, September 6, 2008
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This review is from: Love Songs (DVD)
It took me two viewings to warm up to this film: two love stories, one of which takes a tragic turn. The songs sounded mostly indistinguishable initially and like many French musicals, the actors were left to flounder in their movements while singing. But the depth of emotion rang increasingly true, the plot twists felt unforced and ultimately I was won over by its charm, its sweetness (without being cloying) and its sadness.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming confection of a film, December 12, 2008
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M. Perry "@ Large" (Somewhere, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love Songs (DVD)
This is perhaps Honore's most accessible film to date, even though it is a polyamorous musical. Louis Garrel continues to impress and the smaller roles of Sagnier and Hesme are given ample room to shine as well. The music is beautiful, particularly the song about the Bastille, sung by Sagnier's character and her family in an opening scene. The even smaller roles of the family members are exquisite. I particularly felt for Mastroianni's character (spelling?)... please watch this film if you are a fan of french cinema, and want to escape reality for some bittersweet Parisian confection.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, July 1, 2008
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This review is from: Chansons D'amour/Love Songs (DVD)
It took me two viewings to warm up to this film: two love stories, one of which takes a tragic turn. The songs sounded mostly indistinguishable initially and like many French musicals, the actors were left to flounder in their movements while singing. But the depth of emotion rang increasingly true, the plot twists felt unforced and ultimately I was won over by its charm, its sweetness (without being cloying)and its sadness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weird plot, January 12, 2014
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The songs in this musical are not bad but the plot is really weird. I watch a lot of French and other foreign movies and know that they can be quite different from American movies. This one, however, was just weird. Sorry, didn't get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic French film, November 29, 2013
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This review is from: Love Songs (DVD)
It is a beautiful French film. I watch it often and share it with friends frequently. I love the music. It reminds me of the Umbrellas of Cherbourg. It is a film worth owning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relationship Status: It's complicated, November 4, 2012
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This review is from: Love Songs (DVD)
"Love Songs" is not what it might seem by glancing at the cover: a light-hearted musical about three young adults in love in Paris, enjoying a relationship that is more of a menage-a-trois than a love triangle. The movie takes a dark turn, and ends up exploring more types of love and more of the different emotions that love inspires than what is apparent at first glance.

"Love Songs" is a star turn for Louis Garrel, and he does an admirable job as Ismael. It helps that he is a beautiful man and a talented actor, as is especially demonstrated in two scenes where he plays parlor games (charades and puppeteering) for an amused audience that show off his expressive range. His character Ismael gets put through an emotional wringer as in a fairly short order of time he experiences a wide variety of different types of loving relationships, from the casual to the committed, with a variety of different people. Louis Garrel performs the role admirably, but one of the shortcomings of the movie is that it tries to do too much: any one of Ismael's relationships could have generated its own movie. Or maybe that is the point, at the end of the day: that is just the way that life is for young adults in the City of Light.

Ludivine Sagnier fans, of which I am most definitely one, will be a bit disappointed with "Love Songs", as the film definitely belongs to Garrel, not Sagnier. Sagnier's is a supporting role, and one which requires her to look wan and disinterested at a critical juncture, which does not play to her strength as a vibrant fun-loving woman. Clotilde Hesme is given a more carefree, impish role, and she does a fine job with it.

Director Christophe Honore does several things very well: the backdrop of Paris, especially the street scenes, makes the viewers feel as though they've been transported there; and the conclusion of the nightclub scene, which features several freeze-frames while the sound continues, is an emotionally touching way of conveying what is happening. But at the end I think that "Love Songs" tries to do a bit too much, and could have been better if it had reduced the scope of the plot. But again, maybe that is the point the film is trying to make about love: it's complicated.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Francophiles and others, September 18, 2010
This review is from: Love Songs (DVD)
Beautiful piece in the style of 'Umbrellas of Cherbourg'. Honore employs the talents of some wonderful young actors as well as his own brand of storytelling to create a tender journey of realization.
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Love Songs
Love Songs by Christophe Honor (DVD - 2008)
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