He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Will the spirit of Amelie haunt Audrey Tautou's career forever? It seems unfair even to question such a thing, but her role in Laetitia Colombani's psychological thriller points that way.

She's wrong for the role. Angelique, who obsesses about a married man, should be stronger and more dangerous. Tautou plays her as an innocent, trusting and naive to the point of silliness.

And yet, and yet... Angelique is an art student who recently won an award. She has a mind, or, at least, a talent. Why is she carrying on with Loic (Samuel Le Bihan), a cardiologist, with a successful practice and a pregnant wife? Well, sex has a way of barging in on domestic tranquillity, flipping it over and making everyone miserable.

Angelique has friends who care about her. Haven't they noticed that she's off her trolley? She hasn't noticed herself, so why should they? This is a movie about delusion and the meaning of truth. Such a statement would confuse Angelique. Delusion is another word for control and reality has no right to interfere.

The film is in two parts - a view from Angelique's wishfulfilment and the parallel life of the good Dr Whatsgoingon. Angelique believes in their love. The doc hasn't a clue.

There is enormous scope to play mind games with the audience. Colombani avoids the temptation, preferring to take a conventional route. Because Tautou is still Amelie, only less grounded, the idea of her being vicious and vindictive seems an oxymoron. As a result, there is no tension.

What gave Fatal Attraction its edge was Glenn Close's ability to switch from sexual wild cat to predatory panther. Tautou is embalmed in her cutesy, kooky, whimsical persona, which makes the unseen acts of violence unbelievable.

Amelie without Jean-Pierre Jeunet is rather affected. Angelique suffers from a mental disorder. Does she love too much? Or is she trapped in the body of a seductive child?

None of this is Tautou's fault. She carries her poisoned chalice with grace and charm, as if ignorant of its venom. Sooner, if not later, she must reach adolescence.

Reviewed on: 21 Nov 2002
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Audrey (Amelie) Tautou has an obsessional infatuation with a married cardiologist with fatal results.
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Director: Laetitia Colombani

Writer: Laetitia Colombani, Caroline Thivel

Starring: Audrey Tautou, Sanuel Le Bihan, Isabelle Carre, Clement Sibony, Sophie Guillemin

Year: 2002

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: France


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