- READER REVIEWS
Love Songs (Les Chansons d'amour)
(No longer in theaters)
IFC First Take
Mar 21, 2008
Early on, Christophe Honoré’s Love Songs makes good on its title. After a realistic opening in which some attractive young people mope about their unsatisfactory ménage à trois (it’s two dishy girls getting it on, one Jewish guy unexpectedly left out), the guy (Louis Garrel) and his girlfriend (Ludivine Sagnier) begin to sing to (really, at) each other in an alley. Alex Beaupain’s pop melodies are tuneful, his lyrics pithy, Honoré’s staging and editing perfect—not too choppy, not too static. The walls of realism just float away, then come back with a soft landing. Love Songs loses some fizz when a major character drops dead: The central dilemma disappears, and the bathos doesn’t mesh as well with the movie’s lightness. But the ease with which the songs—and the inner worlds they invoke—arise out of the characters’ emotions is exhilarating. Sagnier’s sister is played by Chiara Mastroianni, whose mother, Catherine Deneuve, was the ravishing center of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Love Songs is more modest, not such a color-coordinated objet d’art. Honoré has proven you can make a movie musical in which style doesn’t upstage content—a movie musical that blossoms from the inside out.