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Christophe Honoré further makes a case as one of the most exciting filmmakers of our generation with the exuberant and tender Love Songs (Les Chansons D'Amour), a modern day musical told through unforgettable songs sung entirely by the cast. In the hope of sparking their stalled relationship, Ismaël (Louis Garrel, Dans Paris, The Dreamers) and Julie (Ludivine Sagnier, Swimming Pool) enter a playful yet emotionally laced threesome with Alice (Clotilde Hesme, Regular Lovers). When tragedy strikes, these young Parisians are forced to deal with the fragility of life and love.
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"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.
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!
THE ACTING WAS VERY GOOD, SUBTITLES EASY TO FOLLOW, THOUGH I THOUGHT SOME WERE PARA-PHRASED TO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
I HAD A FEELIN THAT THE LEAD MALE WAS NOT QUITE WHAT HE SEEMED AND IT PLAYED OUT IN THE END.
THE OTHER REVIEWS ARE ACCURATE AND THERE FOR NEED NOT TO REPETE THEIR WORDS.