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He Loves Me
He Loves Me Not

He Loves Me He Loves Me Not

 

 

=    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 desires.

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 Loc (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 Mythology.

We find Angelique in love with Loc, 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.

 

Cinnamon Candle

 

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 Loc'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 Loc. The word "mosaic" takes on new meanings. The main problem with their "relationship" is that Loc is married and his wife is pregnant. As Angelique writes a warning across Loc'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 Loc the depth of her love.

 

Chenille Throw

 

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 loved Amelie, 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 meaning.

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 your lover.

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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