Love Songs (2008)



Critic Consensus: Love Songs is hampered by a lack of focus, but held together by Honore's deft direction and an engaging cast.

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Movie Info

Though Love Songs (aka Les Chansons d'Amour) is not a film operetta per se, director Christophe Honoré and composer/lyricist/vocalist Alex Beaupain use that film to pay homage to the French movie musical as conceived by Jacques Demy in his classic Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1967). The Honoré film concerns a series of hopelessly romantic Parisian characters who are unable to convey their feelings to one another in everyday situations, and who thus use musical numbers as outlets -- as vehicles of emotional expression. Beaupain composed the score; a number of the songs that are included appeared on one of his solo albums. The individual stories covered in the film tell age-worn tales as old as time: the loss of love, the discovery of new love, the impossibility of mutual love. The film stars Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroianni, Clotilde Hesme, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, Brigitte Roüan, Jean-Marie Winling, and Yannick Renier.
Art House & International , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
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Louis Garrel
as Ismaël Bénoliel
Ludivine Sagnier
as Julie Pommeraye
Brigitte Roüan
as Julie's Mother
Jean-Marie Winling
as Julie's Father
Alice Butaud
as Jasmine
Yannick Renier
as Gwendal
Esteban Carvajal-Alegria
as Erwann's Friend
Sylvain Tempier
as Cop No. 1
Annabelle Hettmann
as Bar Waitress
Alex Beaupain
as The Singer
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Critic Reviews for Love Songs

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (17)

Conceived by Honore as a tribute to a dead friend, the helmer is perhaps too close to his subject, never quite able to bring himself to linger on the grief that should be at pic's core.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
Top Critic

This inexpressibly tender and lovely picture suggests that [Honoré's] developing into a major talent, one who can make the spirit of classic French movies come alive in a new world.

Full Review… | July 8, 2008
Top Critic

As dark as these themes seem, in Honoré's capable hands, they become almost frothy and the perfect elements for a surprisingly joyous musical.

Full Review… | June 6, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Yes, it's weird. But it's wild card weird, with that thrill of never knowing what's coming next or when these Parisians are going to get musical on us.

Full Review… | June 5, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic

You'll laugh. You'll swoon.

Full Review… | May 22, 2008
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Love Songs finds the magic that the great screen musicals have -- the way a sad song can nonetheless leave an audience happy, or the way two voices blending seems to create something so much bigger.

May 2, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Love Songs

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.

Matheus Carvalho
Matheus Carvalho

Super Reviewer


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.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

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