Le nom des gens (The Names of Love)

2011

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

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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 things aren't always what they seem. Bahia and Arthur are as different as two people can be.
 So when they fall in love, sparks fly... -- (C) Music Box Films

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Cast

Jacques Gamblin
as Arthur Martin
Sara Forestier
as Bahia Benmahmoud
Zinedine Soualem
as Mohamed Benhmamoud
Carole Franck
as Cecile Benmahmoud
Jacques Boudet
as Lucien Martin
Michèle Moretti
as Annette Martin

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

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

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (27)

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.

Oct 4, 2011 | Rating: 3/4

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

Sep 1, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

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

Aug 26, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
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.

Aug 26, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

Aug 19, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Playfully provocative and boasting a star-making turn from Sara Forestier, The Names of Love addresses the volatile issue of European assimilation and multiculturalism, but in a tone and tenor full of screwball whimsy.

Aug 18, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

½

Funny and thought-provoking, this delicious romantic comedy offers an intelligent commentary on politics and society but stands out more for its originality and for being as atypical as its eccentric characters, who we easily learn to care about.

Carlos Magalhães
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

½

Despite some issues with the movie laying on the themes of race and politics a little too heavily, this is probably among the better romantic comedies to come out in recent memory. It's funny, inventive and quirky. It also has a surprising amount of legitimate character development and emotional depth. I was actually really surprised by how much I liked the movie. The leading actors are both tremendous and play off each other really well. Overall this is a really good romantic comedy, believe it or not.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

½

"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.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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