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Showing 1-10 of 23 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 46 reviews
on November 4, 2012
"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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on September 26, 2010
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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on January 13, 2017
This is a lovely, intimate French musical with wonderful music... but it does deal with some downbeat subject matter, as well as have comedic and romantic moments.
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on June 4, 2011
I won't bore you with the summary because you can find that on IMDB and Wikipedia. I will review the DVD. I was expecting at least some behind the scenes process or making-of for the songs, or even a small segment of interviews and/or commentaries, but there's no extra at all. This DVD only has the movie in it. And although I truly love the film and the songs, it would have been a better DVD if it had extras included.
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on December 12, 2009
I THOUGHT THIS WAS A WONDERFUL FILM. I AM PARTIAL TO FOREIGH FILMS, FRENCH AND SPANISH.
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.
ENJOY.
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on July 1, 2008
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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on February 14, 2010
My son wanted the original French version of the movie. Many sites had the version; however the DVD was not compatible with US players. Finally, I found it on here.
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on December 12, 2008
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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on January 18, 2015
One of my favorite movies, seen it probably 10 times, goes from funny and charming to really sad to heartwarming to uplifting with a twist. It's a musical of sorts but a modern take on one. Such a great film.
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on November 29, 2013
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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