Monday, 18 June 2007

Film: Love Me If You Dare

Lowdown: A psycho's Amelie.
The most interesting thing about watching Love Me If You Dare was the way in which we watched it: straight off the air, with no time shifting whatsoever. I don't remember the last time we did that; it felt really weird to have to wait till 9:30 for the film to start (how do you fill up those 15 minutes between the last thing you did and the film?), and then have these weird breaks in the middle of the film from time to time and for no apparent reason.
Notice I'm saying all of this already and I haven't said much about this film, for which I have heard lots of favorable reviews back when it was playing at the cinemas. Which is my way of saying that I was rather disappointed with this French film about a very weird couple of characters.
The film starts by showing us this young boy whose mother is dying of cancer and this young immigrant girl who the rest of the kids in class mock and shame as their favorite sport. These two make a weird couple: they go for one another, but only through daring one another to stupid dare games that go way over the top as far as taste is concerned (and which I will not mention here because I don't want to ruin the film for anyone). The point is, they do their best to be nasty to one another with their dares, yet they also have definite feelings for one another; and as they grow up, things escalate further: as adults they can't be nice to one another yet they can't be without each other.
I guess this is the point the film is trying to make - that we can be assholes to the people we love and need the most. Thing is, with the way the film is done - it's all very artistic and flashy, with surrealistic scenes thrown all over the place, massive time shifts (although always moving forward barring some flashbacks), and bits that look real but obviously only take place in the imagination - you sort of feel that if all this effort was made, there must be more to the film than this. Which made me think a lot about the film even though I didn't like it in particular or even in the least; I found the characters un-identifiable, the story too hard to accept, and the style way over the top. And worst, I'm still unable to come up with a good theory as to what the film was supposed to be about.
I have to add that Love Me If You Dare (quite a shit English name translation, given the original French "Jeux d'enfants") reminded me a lot of Amelie, another French film I didn't like. I know I'm at a minority with Amelie, a film which many people I know describe as almost a godly experience, but I just found it to be too annoying with its style and surrealism. Point is, if you liked Amelie, maybe, just maybe, Love Me If You Dare is for you.
Best scene: God sentences the couple to all sorts of weird punishments in a surrealistic Adam & Eve seduced by a snake scene.
Overall: Some like it hot; I like it good. Style on its own doesn't make a film good, in my book, especially when I find myself devoting hours to thinking what it was trying to tell me. 1.5 out of 5 stars.

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