A Non-Date Date Movie
Love me less, but love me a long time.
– Ismael Benoliel, Les Chansons d’amour
Hey, you got girlfriend Vietnam? Me so horny. Me love you long time.
– Da Nang Hooker, Full Metal Jacket
Louis Garrel & Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet – As-tu déjà aimé ?
For those of you who appreciate French music for its catchy pop melodies and inherent foreignness, Christopher Honoré’s Love Songs (Les Chansons d’amour) might be the perfect film to start off a romantic evening that involves wine tasting and a fondue pot, you know, with all the calculated trimmings of a themed event. The only catch: turn off the monitor and leave the stereo on. The soundtrack, the foreground, the rest is mere background, the illusion of cosmopolitan sophistication is enough to satiate the Starbucks compilation palate. It’s better leaving one’s belief system in the French “tradition of quality” intact rather than shattering it through Honore’s icy milieu of stock characters and tourist locales, not to mention, a preposterous suggestion that damaged grief brings about latent homosexuality, or perhaps mourning demands the “outing” of other bodies and orientations to hold on tight and fuck the pain away, or again, Ismael, the all-inclusive male figure was always a bisexual. Any of these scenarios could have been the case, but who gives a damn when the film squanders its chances to piece together the narrative threads in exchange for impromptu dalliances and nonsensical coincidences. The lyrics would’ve made Shakira cringe and laugh in agony…”Four pubes in the shower.” At least in the heyday of French musicals, Demy was injecting frisky charm and dramatic irony into the Hollywood formula, and Godard broke down those same inane templates to form iconic sequences that are still the epitome of cool (See below). Honoré himself, a dedicated fan of that zeitgeist, took a more serious approach, then realizing his hip meter falling, he followed some needless detours and ended up somewhere between Paris and the land of lost convictions.
A signpost towards gay pride? Or a memorial of Timberlake before “4 Minutes”?
Enjoy the songs and think only of Anna Karina!
Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, & Clothilde Hesme – Je n’aime que toi
Chiara Mastrioanni – Au parc
This is how you make a musical, pedantic lyrics aside.