À la folie... pas du tout (He Loves Me . . . He Loves Me Not)

Rating: 3 out of 5

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not BoxThis is one of those films that has all the parts for greatness but just can’t put them together. This film stars the radiant pixie Audrey Tautou (Amélie) as Angélique, a struggling but talented art student, who is wrapped up in an “affair” with an older married cardiologist, Loïc (Samuel Le Bihan - Red) when things begin to decend into unspeakable horror. Unfortunately, I can’t go too far into the plot of this film with out giving out a spoiler for those who can really suspend disbelief.

However, I can say that the acting is quite good. Ms. Tautou is a dead ringer for the incredibly innocent Audrey Hepburn and yet pulls off this dark part with very little difficulty, even turning her crooked-tooth smile into an almost sinister appearance. Her male counterpart, Mr. Le Bihan does and equally good job of portraying confusion and fear as his life falls out of control.

No, the problem with this film is that it is a really arty collection of gimmicks used in one form or another in every suspense film ever made. Within 10 minutes of the beginning of the film, you know exactly what is going on and where it will end. Then you must sit through the rest of the film while they explain it to you. Even the “surprise” twist at the end was entirely expected by the clichéd design of the circumstances. A thriller is a fine and good thing. Even to use some of the standard gimmicks is necessary. But you must always add something new to the form to make it work.

In many ways, this is an standard Hollywood thriller with a light French accent. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it at all if it weren’t for the fine performances of the actors. As such, give this a watch after a good bottle of wine with a mind well cleared of reality.