Love Songs (film)
(Les Chansons d'amour)
|Directed by||Christophe Honoré|
|Written by||Christophe Honoré|
|Music by||Alex Beaupain|
|Editing by||Chantal Hymans|
|Distributed by||Bac Films|
|Running time||100 minutes|
Love Songs (French: Les Chansons d'amour) is a 2007 French musical film directed by Christophe Honoré, starring Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, Clotilde Hesme and Chiara Mastroianni. It was one of the 20 films selected for the main competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. The film has been cited as a favorite by filmmaker John Waters, who presented it as his annual selection within the 2009 Maryland Film Festival.
The film is divided into three parts: The Departure, The Absence and The Return.
The film begins with Julie Pommeraye walking the streets of Paris; she goes to a cinema and from the tickets queue calls her boyfriend Ismaël Bénoliel on her cell phone. He is at work with Alice, but when Julie asks him he lies and says he is alone. Julie responds that he pisses her off. Later that night, Ismaël runs into Julie on his way home. They discuss Julie’s frustrations about their relationship and eventually, already in their apartment, become reconciled. Shortly afterwards Alice arrives; they all get into bed together, read a different book each and fight about each one's place in bed.
The next day Julie and Ismaël have breakfast with Julie’s family; Julie gets frustrated and leaves for the kitchen, followed by her older sister, Jeanne. Julie tells Jeanne and later her mother about Alice and the threesome. In the night, after Ismaël, Julie and Alice leave a bar where they were eating, Julie starts complaining about Ismaël's relationship with Alice; Ismaël responds that so is she and that she is the only one he loves, Alice tells them that she is only there to bring them together. They go to a concert where Alice befriends a guy named Gwendal. Julie starts feeling bad, so she and Ismaël decide to leave. Julie goes out of the building while Ismaël gets their stuff; when he comes outside he finds Julie unconscious on the floor while a woman performs CPR on her. The police arrive and question Ismaël while paramedics attend to Julie. One of the paramedics talks to a police officer who then goes back to the car in which Ismaël is sitting and over the radio reports Julie’s death.
Going to work, Ismaël runs into Jeanne on her way to the apartment to pick some of Julie’s clothes up, after an argument about why she didn’t tell him first, Ismaël gives her his keys. At work he tells about this Alice who doesn't like it; they argue then comfort each other. Since Jeanne is staying in Ismaël’s apartment he doesn't want to spend the night there and Alice takes him to Gwendal’s apartment.
Ismaël spends the entire night awake; in the morning he meets Erwann, Gwendal’s younger brother, who before leaving for school offers him his room so he can sleep in his bed. When Erwann returns and wakes Ismaël up he borrows some clean clothes from Erwann and leaves for work. When he returns from it he is secretly followed then met by Erwann who asks him if he can go home with him; Ismaël rejects this. He gets to his apartment to find Jeanne still there, which annoys him and he goes to Erwann’s apartment to spend the night there again.
At a lunch with Julie’s family next day Ismaël rejects an offer to her life insurance money from her father. At night he takes Maude, a waitress from the bar he used to go to with Julie and Alice, for a one-night stand to his apartment.
They wake up at noon to realize that Jeanne is present: Ismaël leaves and Jeanne is disappointed when she finds out the girl is not Alice. Ismaël goes to work to find Erwann waiting for him; he tells Erwann that he is flattered by his attention but neither interested nor in need of him. Alice, having broken up with Gwendal, thinks Erwan had been sent there to pick up their apartment keys; she gives them to Ismaël to pass them on to Erwann. Leaving work Ismaël finds Erwann waiting for him again; he gives him the keys then takes them back and they both go to Ismaël’s apartment. Meanwhile Alice receives a phone call from Julie’s mother; the two of them meet at a restaurant, where Julie’s mother asks her to take care of Ismaël. Jasmine, Julie’s other sister, comes to tell her mother that her father is upset that she isn’t at home so late at night, so she leaves, leaving Alice and Jasmine talking alone for a while.
In Ismaël’s apartment he and Erwann make love; in the morning Jeanne finds them in bed together and leaves again. Ismaël follows her; Jeanne says that now she understands why he and Julie were in a threesome with Alice and why he didn’t want to have kids; they argue until Ismaël leaves. Erwann goes to look for Ismaël in his office, but not finding him talks to Alice, who asks him when he is leaving whether he and Ismaël are together, to which he replies that he hopes so. Ismaël is in the meantime in the cemetery visiting Julie's grave; the following song is sung as if by Julie’s ghost, asking Ismaël why it had taken him so long to visit her. After leaving the cemetery Ismaël walks despondently through the city and gets drunk; Alice comes across him and takes him to Erwann’s apartment. Ismaël and Erwann argue about whether their relationship should continue and the movie ends with Ismaël kissing Erwann and asking him to love him less but for a long time.
- Louis Garrel as Ismaël Bénoliel
- Ludivine Sagnier as Julie Pommeraye
- Clotilde Hesme as Alice
- Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet as Erwann
- Chiara Mastroianni as Jeanne
- Brigitte Roüan as Julie's mother
- Alice Butaud as Jasmine, Julie's sister
Box office performance
As of 16 January 2012, it had grossed a total of $2,966,934 worldwide — $104,567 in the United States and Canada and $2,862,367 in other territories.
- Official site at ifcfilms.com
- Love Songs at the Internet Movie Database
- Love Songs at Rotten Tomatoes
- Love Songs at Metacritic
- Love Songs at Box Office Mojo
- Love Songs at allmovie
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- Ide, Wendy (18 May 2007). "Les Chansons D'Amour". The Times (London). Retrieved 18 September 2011.
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- Sotinel, Thomas (20 May 2007). " 'Les Chansons d'amour': petit arrangement musical avec la mort". Le Monde (in French) (Paris). Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Thomson, Desson (June 6, 2008). "Love Songs". Washington Post (Washington DC). Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- Wiegand, David (6 June 2008). " 'Love Songs' hums with tangled emotions". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA). Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- Weissberg, Jay (18 May 2007). "Love Songs". Variety (New York). Retrieved 18 September 2011.