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Les Chansons d'Amour (Love Songs) Reviews

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Matheus C

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2011
While it never remotely aproaches the greats of "Les Parapluies de Cherbourgh", which it borrows heavily from, it is a charming little musical with a surprise twist at the end.
arashxak
arashxak

Super Reviewer

July 10, 2009
After the almost unbearable first part(the departure) it follows the story & its characters in a more convincing & engaging way but not enough to save the entire thing from the abyss
Mark A

Super Reviewer

March 22, 2011
A morbid French film about some beautiful, sexually ambivalent, young people dealing with the aftermath of an unavoidable tragedy. The film reminded this viewer of Romance and Cigarettes, with the characters breaking into song at various points in the story. While that could be jarring, the songs did seem to move the narrative along. The cast was well chosen. This viewer thought the older sister, Jeanne (Chiara Mastroianni) was particularly well drawn. One sensed her grief and longing although it was never explicitly expressed. Some aspects of the story might cause a bit of discomfort, but overall the story played quite high on the believability meter. The scenery was somewhat drab, even though the entire story took place in Paris, because it focused on the working class neighborhood where the characters lived and never really focused on the icons of the Paris skyline. An interesting film because of the different approach taken here, but one that could easily annoy, as well, for those who have a low tolerance for the musical format. Another three and a half stars, rounded down.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

April 6, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"Love Songs" is a mildly entertaining pastische of the French New Wave that has a more modern take on sexuality. References include the musicals of Jacques Demy(Catherine Deneuve's daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, has a featured role), young people who would rather read than have sex in bed, and, of course, a menage a trois. Speaking of which, Louis Garrel gives a performance reminiscent of Jean-Pierre Leaud as Ismael, a newspaper worker who not only dates Julie(Ludivine Sagnier), but also a co-worker, Alice(Clotilde Hesme), and all three share a bed together. Even though Julie enjoys the physical aspects of the relationship, she has qualms about the emotional side, the least of which being the inability to sleep.(You know that bed is kinda small for this sort of thing. Next time, plan ahead.) Then tragedy strikes...[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Love Songs" is decent enough but the novelty of the songs wears off soon enough.(And none of them are that memorable anyway.) I know one character accuses Ismael of being self-centered, which may or may not be true, but did that have to be a cue for the movie to focus entirely on him, to the exclusion of almost everybody else?(For example, one major character disappears from the narrative for most of the second half of the movie.) The movie would have worked best as an ensemble piece, anyway. At least it never turns into a morality play, passing judgment on the characters' actions.[/font]
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

November 18, 2007
One of those incredibly romantic films that tears up sexuality labels that the French do so well. Christophe Honorť, who made one of my most favorite films - Dans Paris - continues his experiment with visuals and extends the single musical number in that film to a full musical here (the influence of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is clear). The English subtitles occasionally lose some of the poetry of the songs in translation, but this is an unavoidable and minor quibble. Technically a joy and great performances too, especially from Louis Garrel, Clotilde Hesme, and the adorable Grťgoire Leprince-Ringuet. A joyful, positive film. "Love me less, but love me a long time."
Blaster1618
Blaster1618

Super Reviewer

September 11, 2010
A French language filmed in Montreal. I liked it mainly for the music in the beginning and middle portion. I caught it on the Sundance channel but missed the beginning. I tried to follow the plot, but no real point to that. The characters seem more like a flight of sexual fantasy than grounded in real experience. I wish NF would offer a category filmed in Montreal I can think of several movie that were filmed there that had a very raw unique feel. The Freshman 1990, The Red Violin 1998, The Heist 2001, Catch Me If You Can 2002, Confession of a Dangerous Mind 2003, The Human Stain 2003, The Aviator 2004, Taking Lives 2004, Lucky Number Sliven 2006. I don?t know if it?s the atmosphere, the water or the people who are open to filming there, but I visited several times myself and like it.
Lovable M

Super Reviewer

November 17, 2008
Good musical. Not great, but good.
Janice :

Super Reviewer

April 2, 2008
So good. Louis Garrel's presence is uber magnetic, had my eyes riveted to the screen all throughout. The music is pretty average, but the whole film is just really worth it.
Bubbly.
illlive73
October 15, 2009
i loved it. so french, beautiful, passionate, intriguing, and simplistic in all its confusion. i cannot comment on the ending because i had an emergency making me leave right when ismael falls into the young boys seduction/temptations. can anyone please fill me in?
terrym45
January 3, 2009
A very charming and smart, french musical. The film is beautifully directed by Christophe Honore has a terrific score by Alex Beaupain. A very nice surprise!
December 9, 2008
I wasn't sure I liked it at first, but this movie totally won me over in the end. I love how the music was weaved into the flow of the story, nobody really stands up and starts dancing, they just sing their feelings as they go about their business. It's also very very pretty, sometimes so pretty that I forgot to read the subtitles, lol. The very last line of this movie left me gaping at the screen - I wanted to watch it again!
October 24, 2013
Sympathique, triste, romantique, melancholique avec Paris en arriere plan, ce film est une belle suprise.
March 12, 2013
There are a lot of reasons to see this movie. I'm only listing a few.
1. Beautiful cinematography
Like director Christophe Honore's other films, the imagery of a cold, elegant and modern Paris plays wonderfully against his heated, passionate characters. I would rewatch this movie just for the scenes of perfectly captured muted Belleville and sparkling nightly Bastille.
2. Louis Garrel
This man seems to play himself in all of Honore's films but that is not to say that he isn't entertaining. On the contrary, I love watching this actor weave in among the others on screen. He manages to obtain perfect chemistry with every woman- or man- he is thrown together with. And come on- when was the last time an actor has been able to get tall, dark, and brooding right?
3. Music
This is a very lyrical film- hardly a scene goes by without some sort of singing or movement. However, it does not read like a musical. Instead of contrived singing portions sliced through bits of dialogue and scenario, the musical elements gently play in with the softness of the drama and add incredible depth to the inner thoughts of the characters.

Overall, if you are an Honore fan, Nouvelle Vague fan, or just want to see some legitimate 'amour', go on and watch this movie.
shawneofthedead
September 5, 2012
I‚(TM)m a sucker for musicals, a sucker for love stories, a sucker for a good, quirky French film. So imagine my excitement when I came across a synopsis of auteur-director Christopher Honor√ (C)‚(TM)s Les Chansons D‚(TM)Amour in the listings of the local French cinema club. It sounded like a delightful blend of everything I could ask for in a film ‚" a story about difficult relationships (a m√ (C)nage √† trois lies at the heart of Chansons), told through music and melody, unfolding in the cobblestoned streets of the most romantic city in the world, Paris. Rather than being a cookie-cutter musical-by-numbers rolling off the Hollywood production line, stuffed with the latest pop tunes, Chansons would surely bear the mark of the offbeat rhythms and far more liberal social mores of its French heritage. Sadly, Chansons never quite scales the heights I hoped it would.

Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) and Isma√ęl (Louis Garrel) are a couple who are in love‚¶ but also happen to have fallen into a three-sided relationship with Alice (Clotilde Hesme). Jealousies and insecurities and flirting abound amongst the threesome until ‚" quite suddenly ‚" life takes a turn for the dark and tragic. Everyone who has known and loved Julie and Isma√ęl struggle to cope with the wrenching change, and Honor√ (C)‚(TM)s camera dutifully trails after them as they piece together their hearts and lives again around the people who have left and the ones who have turned up unexpectedly‚¶ like the chirpy blonde Breton, Erwann (Gr√ (C)goire Leprince-Ringuet).

Honor√ (C) had hoped to create with Chansons a film in which music and song served as the outlet for characters to express their innermost feelings ‚" not quite the way joy bubbled up exuberantly into tap-happy, lavish production numbers as in the old-school MGM musical, but as an expression of everything, from loneliness to guilt, desire to anguish. Great concept, in theory ‚" and really the main reason I wanted to see Chansons for myself.

The concept, unfortunately, is more than a little befuddled in execution. There is a huge wealth of complexity and depth folded into the film‚(TM)s narrative ‚" Julie‚(TM)s family and their reactions to her unusual relationship with Isma√ęl and Alice are particularly ripe with dramatic potential ‚" but the songs, when they turn up, seem to detract from rather than add to the proceedings. Alex Beaupain‚(TM)s tunes are nice enough, but for the most part, the lyrics seem either tangential to what‚(TM)s going on, or not quite right for the setting in which they‚(TM)re being sung. Instead of clarifying the emotions of the character singing them (as was supposedly the intention of the film-maker), the songs come across as obtuse: when Julie and Isma√ęl flirt and snap and quarrel with each other throughout Des Bonnes Raisons and Inventaire, it doesn‚(TM)t help the audience understand why they‚(TM)re in a relationship with Alice ‚" or even with each other, in the first place. In fact, the film feels like it could have subsisted quite happily ‚" and less confusedly ‚" with the excision of some of the musical numbers.

That‚(TM)s not to say that all the songs feel curiously detached from the ongoing narrative. Some of them do work and are well-placed within the film ‚" when Isma√ęl broods about how life can change so quickly and horrifically in Delta Charlie Delta, for instance, or when his guilt takes centre stage in Ma M√ (C)moire Sale. That being said, I‚(TM)m as big a fan there is of people breaking into song at any and all opportune moments, but I still felt that there was plenty enough story and character to go around without need for Beaupain‚(TM)s soundtrack attempting to underscore the emotions of the characters. It‚(TM)s Julie‚(TM)s quiet despair in a kitchen conversation with her mother about Isma√ęl and Alice, for instance, that tells more about her insecurities and concerns than her sing-song flirty argument with them in Je N‚(TM)aime Que Toi. In the end, sadly, the depth and complexity that deserved to be explored gets forgotten in favour of a concept that doesn‚(TM)t do the characters or the plot justice. The grief in the film feels curiously stilted, bottled up and hidden away even when it‚(TM)s supposedly right there onscreen, being sung about in graveyards or in parks.

Perhaps I was expecting too much from Honor√ (C)‚(TM)s little experiment. It‚(TM)s not that the film was a wretched piece of garbage; it wasn‚(TM)t. The cast really was great, all things considered, despite the fact that they aren‚(TM)t really particularly good singers. Chiara Mastroianni as Julie‚(TM)s sister Jeanne deserves a mention for her attempts to ground her grief within the movie in a performance that really resonates with the audience, and Garrel is as charming as you might hope in a role that can‚(TM)t ever really be pinned down. My frustration is that there were hints of what the movie could have been, in its concept and in its execution: something a lot deeper and darker, a lot richer and smarter, with music that told rather than slowed the story unfolding onscreen.
May 29, 2012
Nice love film, as 500 days with Summer. Plus Paris and et des mots d'amour en francais, which makes it lovelier.
November 24, 2011
What a brilliant film and the songs are great!
Matheus C

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2011
While it never remotely aproaches the greats of "Les Parapluies de Cherbourgh", which it borrows heavily from, it is a charming little musical with a surprise twist at the end.
Vatany Zsoly
January 1, 2011
I read on the poster that: "Christophe Honorť's films aren't just films you like - you develop weird little crushes on them" (Mark Olsen) And it's absolutely true. The film has a mysterious mood that catches you, the songs are charming and the words in them are so deep! It's a MustSee
Blaster1618
Blaster1618

Super Reviewer

September 11, 2010
A French language filmed in Montreal. I liked it mainly for the music in the beginning and middle portion. I caught it on the Sundance channel but missed the beginning. I tried to follow the plot, but no real point to that. The characters seem more like a flight of sexual fantasy than grounded in real experience. I wish NF would offer a category filmed in Montreal I can think of several movie that were filmed there that had a very raw unique feel. The Freshman 1990, The Red Violin 1998, The Heist 2001, Catch Me If You Can 2002, Confession of a Dangerous Mind 2003, The Human Stain 2003, The Aviator 2004, Taking Lives 2004, Lucky Number Sliven 2006. I don?t know if it?s the atmosphere, the water or the people who are open to filming there, but I visited several times myself and like it.
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