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DVD REVIEW

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not  (2002)

 

Starring: Audrey Tautou, Samuel Le Bihan

Director: Laetitia Colombani

Rating: PG-13

Distributor: Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment

Release Date: August 12, 2003
Review posted: September 19, 2003

Spoilers: None

 

Reviewed by Dennis Landmann

 

Synopsis

 

It all starts with a single rose, which Angelique (Audrey Tautou, Amťlie) has delivered to her handsome lover, Loic (Samuel Le Bihan, Three Colors: Red). Deeply in love and on the brink of success in her career as an artist, Angelique's bliss conveys a woman who has it all. But through a startling series of events her enchanted life - and our understanding of if Ė begins to unravel in front of our eyes. Is Loic the object of her desire or delusion? Do they share unbridled passion, or is this love affair the one-sided obsession of a desperate woman clinging to a hopeless dream...and turning it into a nightmare when she realizes it may not come true?

 

Critique

 

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is a mixed affair. Audrey Tautou and Samuel Le Bihan turn in pretty good performances. Tautou somewhat resembles the awkwardness of her character in Amťlie, yet is nowhere near as interesting or complex. In fact, the cover art asks, ďIs she crazy in love, or just crazy?Ē By the end of the film I could not figure it out completely. I have two interpretations, neither of which makes me care to know the final outcome. This film is not bad by any means. In fact, several scenes are really enjoyable. But others are just a bit too awkward.

 

Also, the film changes narratives some 30 minutes into the story. Instead of continuing with Tautouís character and her aspirations to surprise or freak out Le Bihanís Loic, the script begins to show the effects that his secret admirer has on his private life. Thatís fine, but too much time passes between the two narratives. Pacing is also a minor issue.

 

Some of the writing, the cinematography, and the music score make He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not a worthwhile affair, but the unevenness of some script elements and some minor put-offs make this film a mixed affair. I just didnít care for the story or characters that much, subsequently making the film not worth of a recommendation.

 

The Video

 

Columbia Tristar presents He Loves Me He Loves Me Not in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are bright and well-saturated. The focus tends to be on colors like red, pink, and some well-defined white. The print quality is also in pretty good shape. Itís mostly clear, although some minor specks and grain show up. Yet those are of no major concern. Overall, this presentation is pretty nice.

 

The Audio

 

Columbia Tristar presents He Loves Me He Loves Me Not in French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Aside from some sound effects and ambient sounds, the soundtrack is mostly front-heavy. Again, those sounds penetrate the surround sound field, but not by much. Dialogue emits from the two front speakers, and itís easy to understand (permitting you speak French). For viewers like me English subtitles show up on the bottom of the screen. Naturally, right? There is some good effort present here to bring the filmís score to a nice, accentuated level. Overall, itís a decent presentation.

 

The Extras

 

Itís simple; there are a few bonus trailers. I didnít expect anything else. You can select to view the film with English subtitles. The DVDís menus are not animated. The 96-minute feature is organized into twenty-eight chapters.

 

Overall

 

Well, I didnít get this film. Iím not sure what makes this film a comedy or thriller, or both. Granted, there is some enjoyment coming from it, but not enough for me to recommend.  Video/audio is decent, but no extras. Rent this film only if youíre in the mood for foreign films, or interested in more of Ms. Tautouís work. Otherwise, you can skip it.

 

RATINGS SUMMARY

 

THE MOVIE 5
THE VIDEO 7

THE AUDIO

6

THE EXTRAS

1

OVERALL (not an average)

4

 

VERDICT: SKIP IT

 


 

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