Love Songs (Les Chansons d'Amour

Director:  Christophe Honore
Year: 2007
Rating: 7.0
Country: France

This is a rather nifty throwback to the musicals of Jacque Demy with the characters walking through the streets of Paris constantly breaking into song about the city and about love. Though much more Umbrellas of Cherbourg than The Girls of Rochefort with its progression from romanticism to deep melancholy, it tackles the sharp cutting angles of love as only the French can in film. Times though have changed since the early 1960's and this time love begins with a ménage a trois and ends in a passionate gay embrace. Broken into three chapters the film goes into some unexpected places of the heart. The songs are those of Alex Beaupain and sung by the actors – lilting and charming with very simple arrangements.

Ismael is in a threesome with his girlfriend Julie and his co-worker Alice and the three of them share nights out and a small bed together. The three way relationship is clearly a temporary one of experimentation and curiosity and edges of jealousy work there way around them. But when one of them shockingly dies of a heart attack, the film leaves its expected path and romantic moorings into a period of despondency and guilt as the other two deal with their grief and how to escape it.

Written Up in  Nov 2007