Love Etc.

  • 1996
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama, Romance

This modest, deliciously bittersweet romance self-consciously evokes the structure and spirit of Truffaut's masterpiece JULES AND JIM, with a less capricious heroine. Pierre (Charles Berling) and Benoit (Yvan Attal) are best friends, even though Pierre is a freeloader who lords his sexual success over shy Benoit, who can't scare up any action on the romantic...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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This modest, deliciously bittersweet romance self-consciously evokes the structure and spirit of Truffaut's masterpiece JULES AND JIM, with a less capricious heroine. Pierre (Charles Berling) and Benoit (Yvan Attal) are best friends, even though Pierre

is a freeloader who lords his sexual success over shy Benoit, who can't scare up any action on the romantic front. That changes when Benoit answers a personal ad placed by Marie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a funky art restorer. But Pierre soon begins feeling neglected by Benoit, who's been transformed

by his affair with Marie, even though Benoit incorporates his pal into their vacations and life together. Without really meaning to, Pierre realizes on the couple's wedding day that he's fallen madly and hopelessly in love with Marie. The horrified bride snubs him, but the obsessed Pierre launches

a furious campaign to win her affections, going so far as to move across the street so he can spy on her. What neither Marie nor Pierre realizes is that the similarly obsessed Benoit is watching them, and the flirtation they begin unravels the fragile pas a trois. Naturally, each

member of the triagle thinks his or her intentions are opaque, when in fact their true feelings are never more than one long stare away. Over the course of the movie, our initial impressions and expectations of the trio are peeled away like layers of an onion. Director Marion Vernoux throws in

various Gallic cinematic fillips — including allowing the characters to occasionally address the audience — none of which is too obtrusive or annoying. Gainsbourg's awkward beauty is a welcome change from the norm, and the climactic dinner party scene — in which the lethal weapons

with which Benoit wounds the two people closest to him are a chicken and Leonard Cohen's "Take This Waltz" — is potent filmmaking.

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This modest, deliciously bittersweet romance self-consciously evokes the structure and spirit of Truffaut's masterpiece JULES AND JIM, with a less capricious heroine. Pierre (Charles Berling) and Benoit (Yvan Attal) are best friends, even though Pierre is… (more)

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