Featured Post

Letterboxd Reviews

So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Movie Review - Love

Love (2015)
Starring Karl Glusman, Aomi Muyock, and Klara Kristin
Directed by Gaspar Noé
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

What exactly makes a movie "porn?"  Is it actual non-simulated sex onscreen?  Because if that's the case, Netflix is totally allowing the public to access porn via its streaming service with the movie Love, a flick by odd auteur Garpar Noé whose two previous films I've seen -- Enter the Void and Irrréversible -- place sex front and center in both positive and negative lights.  Love certainly doesn't change that emphasis as this lengthy flick -- clocking in at over two hours - takes a minimal story and amps it up by depicting real sex amongst his actors.  Love actually works for about an hour or so, but then the lack of story really begins to rear its ugly head (ugh...I guess that could be a sexual pun if you so wish) and all we're left with is sex.

And don't get me wrong -- the sex here is filmed in quite an exquisite manner.  Noé knows eroticism, I'll give him that.  But when the nudity is stripped away, the tale of Murphy (Karl Glusman), an American twentysomething living in Paris, is bland.  An aspiring director (because that allows his character to be pretentious by talking about "great" films and their effect on his life), Murphy has fallen for Electra (Aomi Muyock), a French artist, and in order to spice up their love life, they decide to invite their new neighbor Omi (Klara Kristin) to join them for a threesome.  After a very successful ménage à trois, Murphy gets a little overexcited while Electra is out of town and a subsequent one-on-one encounter with Omi leaves her pregnant.  What's an a-hole like Murphy to do?

Told almost entirely in flashback with the bookends of Murphy dealing with the fact that he's a father to his and Omi's newborn son, Love simply doesn't have the story to cultivate interest.  Once we grow acclimated to the risqué sex (which happens about an hour in after the admittedly engaging sexual trio sequence), there's nothing here.  I read an article in which Noé stated that he wanted Love to be like a musical -- in a musical you're always waiting for the next song to come around and here you're always waiting for the sex.  That's all well and good, but in a musical, the songs forward the purpose of the story.  Here, the sex rarely does that.  Sure, there are a few scenes that give us a glimpse into the inevitability of the tortured relationship between Murphy and Elektra, but those moments are few and far between.

The main cast is unsurprisingly made up of relative newcomers and it often shows.  Klara Kristin fares the best, but her role of Omi is unfortunately featured the least.  Karl Glusman is passable as Murphy, but about halfway through the film his character gradually begins to become an unwatchable pompous prick and any interest that the audience had in him begins to disintegrate.  Aomi Muyock undoubtedly fares the worst.  In her more quiet moments with her character, she's actually moderately successful, but when she's asked to be angry or upset, she's laughable.  It's in those moments where the audience should've felt some connection and sympathy for her, but instead Muyock is completely unable to draw us in to her character's plight.

Gaspar Noé is an intriguing director.  That said, I think he's the kind of guy who thinks his films are more cinematically important than they really are.  Quite frankly, if you take away the sex from Love, there's absolutely nothing here so any purported idea of importance is hogwash.  He can certainly film a sex scene, but his concept of story here is decidedly limp.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

No comments:

Post a Comment