APRES L'AMOUR (Love after Love)
DIRECTOR: Diane Kurys
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Fabio Conversi
MUSIC: Yves Simon
CAST: Isabelle Huppert, Bernard Giraudeau, Hippolite Girardot, Lio, Yvan Attal, Judith Reval
ONE WORD: Film is good enough to want to be liked. Twisted ending disappoints.
For once the title of a film is a bit off, in the translation, and while it is appropriate for the totality of the film, it is not quite right, in that it also creates a different idea, and statement about this film.
The actual title, "Apres l'amour" is a suggestive title that implies something else that the translated title "Love After Love" is not what this film is about. Or one could take some literary license and say "after the love" or "after some love". The point of this is to show that any of these three titles are much more appropriate to the story line of the movie than the actual English title "Love After Love" which would suggest that a person goes from one love to another, with the immediate implication that the people involved are not really looking for love but taking advantage of the lovers they come in contact with. For the sake of a positive outlook in this film, I think that the English title as it is now, degrades this movie a lot. Not that this doesn't happen, but it does not say much about the characters that are honest about their search and definition for themselves of what is happening. For example, Lola, is not totally messed up or unsure about what she wants to do. She has a pretty good idea, and her bouncing from one man to another is just a part of her figuring things out for herself, as opposed to David, who is doing it for selfish reasons, or some "insecurity" reasons. His relationship to his wife is based on sex, not anything else at all. His relationship with Lola has some form of communication, even if some of it is counter productive to the totality of their story -- until the end.
Either way, this film is one of those that can only survive in a serious manner if the performances are solid and the parts are taken likewise, and not break into some sort of a cheap TV soap opera. It does that, with very well defined characters, and roles for everyone. It's difficult to fault anyone for their stage like approach to their work and efficient use of their acting ability. However, this reviewer's problem is with the ending that basically does not appear to help the main character in the film make a decision that is helpful to anything that is already happening. Basically it has confused the issue even further. It leaves many of us wondering where is the point in this story, and what is it trying to tell us? Or are women, simply flaky when it comes to making a decision in the matters of love -- I find that incredulous, and abusive. The men are forward and while they can not make up their minds, at least they know they want to get laid for some reason or another. Be it inspiration - the musician that Lola is seeing, or simply sex, which David seems to work on a lot. Lola's demands seem to be less on the side of sex. and more mental. She apparently can not make up her mind about things. But when she does, towards the end, it is unbelievable and rather shocking, and probably makes a statement that either Lola has changed her mind about everything that is going on, or she is finally decided that she wants a baby and end the story -- something that she has mentioned a couple of times during the film "I never wanted a child".
Strange film, for me a bit of the French feminism thing here, but I am not sure that this is what it is ... I think it might be something like ... this is what I feel and what I want kinda thing, but have no words for it all, and in the case of this film the word "love" is not exactly represented or understood, and is abused.
Let's just say that this is one of those films ... looking for love.
3 of 5 GIBLOONS
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