Le nom des gens (The Names of Love) (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Young extrovert Baya Benmahmoud lives by this classic motto: "Make love, not war." In order to convert them to her cause, she sleeps with her political enemies - which means a lot of men, because every conservative is her enemy. So far, she's gotten good results. Until she meets Arthur Martin, 40-something. She figures that with such a common name (there are more than 10,000 Arthur Martins in France), he's bound to be a real conservative and thus hard to convert. Yet, names are treacherous and … More

Rating: R (for sexual content including graphic nudity, and some language)
Genre: Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Michel Leclerc, Baya Kasmi
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 18, 2011
Box Office: $0.5M
Music Box Films - Official Site


as Arthur Martin

as Bahia Benmahmoud

as Mohamed Benhmamoud

as Cecile Benmahmoud

as Lucien Martin

as Annette Martin
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Le nom des gens (The Names of Love)

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Critic Reviews for Le nom des gens (The Names of Love)

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (28)

There's a taste of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Something Wild" "Forces of Nature" and even "Bringing Up Baby," perhaps the best of the wild child-seduces-straight arrow romances.

Full Review… | October 4, 2011
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

It's always entertaining, and it boasts a terrific performance from Sara Forestier.

Full Review… | September 1, 2011
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A bit jarring while still totally disarming, The Names of Love stirs the pot in more ways than one.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

The elements of sex, race and religion spin in separate orbits, but the two likable leads hold them together as the film grows surprisingly serious.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

It's all put across with such energy and good spirits that it feels brand new. If you don't enjoy this one, you don't like fun.

Full Review… | August 25, 2011
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

It's a playfully sexy farce that plays like a Gallic "Annie Hall" - if Annie had been as blithe about nudity as Baya is.

Full Review… | August 19, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Le nom des gens (The Names of Love)


A delicious romantic comedy, funny and thought-provoking, with an intelligent commentary on politics and society. But it stands out more for its originality and for being as atypical as its eccentric characters, who we easily learn to care about.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A romantic comedy as only the French can do it! Two unlikely characters meet and fall in love, although the road to get there is never smooth. Sarah Forestier, as Baya, the free-spirited daughter of an Algerian immigrant father and a left-wing activist French mother, meets Arthur Martin (like the cooker), played by Jacques Gamblin, an uptight son of a Jewish woman and a father descended from Greek immigrants. Ms Forestier is a blue-eyed dark haired beauty who captivated this viewer from the outset. This one had the viewer laughing and crying at the antics of these star-crossed lovers who somehow make it work in the end. The filmmaker's style seems to have been influenced by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, in it's use of flashback with voice-over narration, and the saturated colors in some of the scenes. And that was a good thing, as it enhanced the emotional impact of the film. A terrific story, that had me rooting for these two the whole way through!

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer


"The Names of Love" starts with Arthur Martin(Jacques Gamblin), an expert in bird diseases, minding his own business on a call-in radio show, urging precaution over the death of a duck.(It was Elmer Fudd I tell you! Because it's duck season. Rabbit season. Duck season...whoa. Where was I? Oh yeah.) Baya Benmahmoud(Sara Forestier), angry at what she was hearing in her very temporary job answering the telephone, charges into the studio to give everybody a piece of her mind. Afterwards, Baya approaches Arthur about having sex together. Rewind a bit to when Arthur's mother(Michele Moretti) survived the Holocaust and Baya's father(Zinedine Soualem) was living in Algeria.

A lot of what I don't like about romantic comedies is that they are generally not about anything, fantasies that think they are set in the real world. By contrast, "The Names of Love" incorporates fantasy elements in its witty and sexy deconstruction of identity in modern day France with a couple of classic sight gags to illustrate, offset with a melancholy undercurrent. As Arthur and Baya show us what had to happen for them to meet(In return, Arthur is occasionally advised by his teenaged self(Adrien Stoclet).), we see how their lives were shaped by events beyond their control. To challenge those forces, people including Baya's mother(Carole Franck), attempt to change the laws of the country to make it a better place to live. In response to being sexually abused by her piano teacher as a child, Baya decides to become a 'political whore.' The trick in the present day is to not let the political become personal. That's not to mention the cool stuff you can learn from this movie like how the QWERTY keyboard originated.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Le nom des gens (The Names of Love) Quotes

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