He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/11/2002

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Enjoyable drama with an impressive central twist – effectively it’s Amelie: The Dark Side…

Pixie-like French actress Audrey Tautou couldn’t possibly have predicted the phenomenal success of last year’s Amelie, or the fact that millions of movie-goers now associate her with the sweetness-and-light image of Jeunet’s runaway hit.

However, if her recent choices –including this and the upcoming Dirty Pretty Things - are anything to go by, she’s aiming to stamp out that image once and for all and to hell with le typecasting.

Bit Of A Spoiler…

Tautou plays Angelique, a shy, lonely art student who is passionately in love with a married doctor, Loic (Samuel LeBihan). She becomes increasingly frustrated and disturbed when he doesn’t leave his wife and soon Unpleasant Things start to happen. At this point, however, if you’re definitely going to see it and you want to get the most out of the film, you really ought to stop reading…

Still here? Alright then. It’s not strictly a spoiler, since the ‘twist’ occurs about halfway through the film and the fun comes in piecing together the truth as the film goes on. Suffice it to say that everything is not quite as it first appeared and the film cleverly rewinds and tells the same story from Loic’s point of view.

Sympathy For The Devil

The performances are very good and there’s a lot of fun to be had in seeing Tautou torpedo her Amelie image so successfully. Having said that, she remains a sympathetic character throughout, even when you know the truth. By the same token, LeBihan does a similarly good job, initially appearing cold and distant, but becoming more sympathetic as the truth emerges. There’s also good support from Sophie Guillemin (Harry, He’s Here To Help, L’Ennui) as Angelique’s best friend.

There are several good scenes here and the film pulls off a number of neat surprises. The final scene, in particular, will send a shiver down your spine.

There are also some nice touches, such as the fact that the entire thing was set off by a simple, meaningless gesture (in this case, the gift of a single rose from a bunch intended for his wife) – as such, the film has parallels with Ian McEwan’s novel Enduring Love, which also deals with erotomania.

In short, although this isn’t quite as good as it could have been (it’s a little slow in places), it’s an enjoyable little drama that marks its director out as a definite talent to watch. Recommended.

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Content updated: 14/12/2017 06:24

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