Le Petit Amour (Kung-Fu Master) (1989)
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Critic Reviews for Le Petit Amour (Kung-Fu Master)
What redeems this movie and allows it to work is that it is about feelings, not actions.
This oh-so-French story (think Louis Malle's "Murmer of the Heart") imagined by an ex-Pat Brit is so natural in its unfolding that one doesn't begin to question the subject matter until well into the tale.
Each slips in and out of a representation and interpretation of events. The question is: Which is which?
Audience Reviews for Le Petit Amour (Kung-Fu Master)
In "Le Petit Amour"(or "Kung-Fu Master!" Take your pick.), Mary Jane(Jane Birkin), a divorced mother of two, takes a liking to Julien(Mathieu Demy), a 14 year old whose parents are in Africa and is in the same class as her daughter Lucy(Charlotte Gainsbourg), after he gets sick by mixing his drinks at a party. So, she accidentally-on-purpose runs into him after school one day, inviting him to tea where he shows off his prowess at his favorite video game which Mary Jane decides to research. Towards the end of "Le Petit Amour," Julien throws a bottle with a message in it into the sea and here I am watching this pleasant movie twenty years later that reminds me so much of growing up, with all the trappings, if not the exact details.(Just because I did not know any relationships like the one depicted in the film, does not mean they were not happening in real life.) A lot of that involves teenagers who are already trying to act like adults, especially in the smoking and drinking departments, with AIDS a constant reminder in their lives.(I am reminded of the time at a college party when a friend blew up a lubricated condom. Oh wait. I just realized he said he reads my reviews. Oh well.) All of which writer-director Agnes Varda handles with wit and grace, even the more controversial elements, withholding judgment of the conflicted characters, although the movie does seem to stall a little towards the end.
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