= A French Tale of Obsessive Love
Reviewer: The Rebecca Review.com from Washington State
I believe if I should die,
And you should kiss my eyelids when I lie
Cold, dead, and dumb to all the world contains,
The folded orbs would open at thy breath,
And, from its exile in the isles of death,
Life would come gladly back along my veins.
From Creed by Mary Ashley Townsend
When Plato said: "Love is a grave mental illness,"
he might have been referring to obsessive love. The type of
passion that turns you into a prisoner of your own desires. It
is the type of passion that can an almost become a
"possessive force" in your life, so strong, nothing
else seems of importance in comparison to the object of your
It is difficult to write about "He Loves Me, He Loves Me
Not," without revealing the sheer uniqueness of this
fascinating movie. It will not only appeal to the detective in
you, it is almost a study of obsessive love as a sport.
The story is set in the city of Bordeaux. French art student,
Angelique (Audrey Tautou), is in love with Loïc (Samuel LeBihan),
who is a cardiologist. The director went out his way to connect
Angelique's heartfelt longings for the doctor with his
profession and also seems to have a deep understanding of Greek
We find Angelique in love with Loïc, a handsome man of high
social status. She is in turn being loved by a younger man named
David, who seems much more compatible. He is her obvious admirer
and knight in shinning armor.
Her obsession with the older and more affluent Loic does not
allow her to appreciate David's care and admiration. Instead,
she seems to show an unsympathetic and almost careless attitude
towards David as she also continues to show her loving, yet
slightly vindictive side towards her "true love." Like
many women who stay with men who treat them badly, Angelique
seems to feed off Loïc's abuse. Or is he really the abuser?
When Angelique receives an art scholarship she is told she
will have to follow the rules and create 15 paintings. However,
the only thing she seems to want to create are paintings of Loïc.
The word "mosaic" takes on new meanings. The main
problem with their "relationship" is that Loïc is
married and his wife is pregnant. As Angelique writes a warning
across Loïc's car windshield, we start to realize the darkness
of her obsession. She has a very evil side and while we want to
love this mischievous little creature, we realize she is a
danger, even to herself.
When her small income from her waitressing job does not allow
her to shower her true love with presents, she starts to find
other ways of feeding her obsession. Her love grows to such
proportions, she is finally willing to steal to show Loïc the
depth of her love.
The visual metaphors are worth looking for and contemplating
on future viewings. Feeling "devastated,"
"uprooted," and "unsettled" are presented as
the outer representation of Angelique's inner world. If you
this movie has much to offer. There are unique moments of
stunning beauty, like the storm at the airport symbolizing the
inner torment Angelique is feeling. There are also subtle
undercurrents and even when a moped and a bike start at the same
time and move in different directions, there is a deeper
Look at how "the angel Angelique" becomes Eros when
she puts an arrow through a heart. Yet, instead of rising from
Chaos into a situation of unconditional love on the light side,
she seeks to create more destruction and enters the dark
hallways of unrequited love. While she strives for the "the
pure, the good and the beautiful," her love takes on a much
more sinister aspect. She not only desires, she seeks to control
this world she has created.
Even if there was no story at all, I could watch Audrey
Tautou in a trance. She is just fascinating in the same way
Audrey Hepburn's screen presence can keep your attention for
hours. I kept forgetting to watch the subtitles and spent a lot
of time rewinding! Audrey Tautou has a magic that is all her own
and her radiance takes all forms. One moment she is dreamily
peering out from behind hundreds of roses and then I was
surprised at the rather demonic look in her eyes as she peers
through the blue gate. She
seems to excel in roles displaying the vulnerability of love and
near insanity of unrequited love.
"He Loves Me, He Loves Me
Not" is a story of a young girl's infatuation
with an older man, yet there is a more subtle erotic and
vindictive twist. This movie turns from romance to thriller in
the most intriguing way. The cinematic beauty is a visual
paradise and the metaphors, dark comedy and detective work will
intrigue your mind. This is a thriller, a comedy and a romance.
A must-see for all Audrey Tautou fans! If you loved "The
Others," this movie will also intrigue you. Throughout the
movie, Tautou seems to mostly be wearing a ruby top and purple
pants. She is often set against red backgrounds with red couches
and the colors in this movie are just stunning. She looks lovely
trying on a wedding dress or just looking through travel
brochures. I am impressed with every moment of her acting.
I am only left wondering if a few capsules of DL-Phenylalanine
could have prevented such agony of the soul or was Angelique's
search for the "love high" the very cause of her
fantasy or "divine" madness? Only one man has the key
to Angelique's heart. Laetitia Colombani has created a journey
that will keep your attention right to the end… twice!
Labyrinth of Desire
Pleasures of the Soul, January 29, 2007
"My sense of romantic love inevitably involves obsession.
It occurs when we meet the person we feel is essential for our
life. Without that person, we will die. It happens when life
stops us suddenly in our tracks and we love in a way we didn't
know was possible." ~ pg. 4
Rosemary Sullivan explores more than obsessive love in her
unique personal story which becomes as much an unveiling of her
own world as an understanding of the search for ourselves by
becoming obsessed with another. Throughout "Labyrinth of
Desire," she paints erotic portraits of feminine longing
and uses the colors of a short story to paint larger pictures
within a world of spontaneous choices and unrestrained desire.
I started to read this book in bed one night while my husband
was looking up something on a map and I was amusing myself by
reading him sentences so he could look up various locations in
the initial story. A woman becomes obsessed with a man while she
is on an adventure in Mexico. This leads to a discussion of what
actually occurred within the relationship and why it eventually
ended in disaster. Or did it end badly? Rosemary Sullivan has a
few intriguing ideas about why we fall madly in love and how it
can birth the self.
Within the "almost confessional" personal revelations,
excerpts from her diary, pop culture references, quotes from
famous artists, passages from novels, witty conversations in
movies, secrets between friends and intriguing memories from her
world travels, Rosemary Sullivan reveals that she at times
misses the "waking up of the world."
For anyone who has experienced obsessive love or even just
falling in love without complete obsession, this will present
intrigue. Although, I must admit that an especially artistic
movie can produce a similar "awakening" to the world.
Colors become more vibrant, you notice the steam on a cup of
coffee, the sun feels warmer on your skin, you long to sit in
the sun as if it was some invisible connection between you and
The most revealing aspect of this book may be the information on
how she despises one type of romantic love and embraces a wilder
more provocative expression. Needless to say, there is something
warm and beautiful in this book, although it can at times read
like a conversation between friends discussing their favorite
lovers, movies and world travels.
This book will be quite enjoyable to anyone who has ever wished
to be an artist's muse. I think at the heart, this entire
concept of obsessive love is birthed from our desire to be
needed and validated. Why else would be long to be needed when
so deeply obsessed with the object of our affection? Or does a
sense of security make us feel that this magical space in our
own little world will continue indefinitely?
While falling madly in love has its seductive beauty, resisting
when inappropriate reveals entirely new facets of your soul's
strength. Obsessive love is a little dangerous and it could
destroy your life and that may also be its appeal.
~The Rebecca Review
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