10 May 2014 | lazarillo
Very sexy, but somewhat lacking in emotional depth
This is a movie about a very attractive young couple who enjoy a very active sex life. The woman discovers she has a fatal disease (cancer, I think?). The boyfriend reacts by having sex with other beautiful women. So the girlfriend decides to romantically push him toward her incredibly attractive cousin. This movie has the problem of a lot of modern French movies in my opinion. It tries to achieve an emotional depth, but this is compromised by the need to ALSO cast the most unbelievably good-looking--and not necessarily most experienced--actors they can possibly find for the three leads. It certainly achieves a high level of SEXINESS, but this is often at odds with the emotional depth the narrative is trying to attain. Parts of the movie--like the final scene--are quite powerful, but others are more trite.
Laura Smet plays the dying woman. She looks like a slightly less voluptuous version of Isild LeBesco. She spends a lot of the movie in the nude, and frankly she makes dying young of cancer look a whole lot more sexy than it probably is, even after she loses her hair. But even before she gets sick, the alleged love between her and her boyfriend is really only established by the hot sex they have. Nicolas Devouchelle plays the boyfriend. He looks like a tattooed male model here and his performance in particular sometimes approaches the level of Carolina Herrera perfume commercial. To be fair, some of the problem is his rather unsympathetic character, which I believe is meant to give this movie a darker feel, kind of like "Breaking the Waves". But his character comes off much more shallow than dark, and it just doesn't seem very believable that he is cheating on his dying girlfriend in one scene and sobbing uncontrollably the next (Marlon Brando pulled this off in "Last Tango in Paris", but this actor is obviously no Marlon Brando).
Probably the actor with the longest subsequent career here is Marie Denarnaud who plays the cousin, but she was pretty inexperienced at this point in her career. She looks like Adele Exarchopolous (or Adele Exarchopolous looks like her)and frankly I think a lot of men would probably MURDER their girlfriend or wife (and probably several other people) if it would get them in bed with her. And the sheer sexiness of her scenes is often pretty suspect, like a scene where she and her dying cousin take a bath together. This is the second French movie I've seen with adult females taking a bath with each other (Sophie Marceau and her adolescent daughter also share a--much more PG rated--bath in the French teen film "LOL"). Maybe this is normal in France, but it isn't anywhere else. And then there's the incestual three-way. . .
Let me put it this way. They say that it is physiologically impossible for most men to cry while they have an erection. I don't know if that is true, but I wouldn't expect too many men to shed tears during this movie. The problem is I doubt too many women will either.