“When you die, you die with your memories”Review by Lewis Goodall
We’re getting quite close to the mark here on critically ashamed in terms experimental films. If you follow along then you can see I’ve been making my way through the films of the director ‘Gaspar Noe’. I loved climax and I loved irreversible so naturally I want to get through all his films. His films certainly have a certain style and he certainly likes to push the boundaries of film making which I’m a huge fan of. ‘Love’ is slightly different in the fact that I had to buy this from the adult section which was mighty embarrassing but it intrigued me as to why. Looking on the back and seeing the rating saying ‘features real sex’ I knew this was going to be the Christmas family film I’d been looking for.
‘Love’ follows Murphy (Karl ‘Lucky man’ Glusman), an american filmmaker living in Paris to shoot his latest movie. He reminisces about a past lover, Electra (Aomi Muyock), remembering the times they were together and how she was the perfect girl for him. He recounts plenty of sexual encounters he had with her and how they would get experimental. The relationship starts to crack as soon as a new girl is introduced to the four play to live out their sexual fantasies.
Let’s address the elephant in the room, this film features real, unsimulated sex, none of that fake, dry humping you get in Hollywood, the Dickinson’s real deal. its basically 2 hours of porn with a more intricate story. I currently feel like one of those people that comment on videos on Pornhub for some reason. So if you’re a fan of watching a man nut at the camera lens then this is the film for you. Adding real sex into the mix certainly made for a more raw experience and that’s exactly what Gaspar was going for, he set out to make a love story from a sexual point of view and he definitely achieved that. It made the connection between the two main characters feel as though I was just watching a real couple experiment which sounds super weird but did actually work . Although that being said, I was very uncomfortable whilst watching it, having the anxiety of someone walking in while I’m watching a woman getting fingered is not something I can easily explain.
Gaspar certainly doesn’t like to make a straight forward narrative, climax where the end was the beginning, irreversible where the end was the beginning and now we finally have love, where the end is the beginning. You certainly know you’re watching a Gaspar film. So we slowly start to unravel the story of how Murphy ended up in a broken relationship, forced together by an accidental baby. Through memories we learn what happened to Murphy and Electra and why they aren’t together anymore, telling their love story backwards. I say backwards but the timeline seems to be all over the place and I honestly found it difficult at points to know whereabouts we are in their relationship. Mostly its backwards but I’m sure there were random memories thrown in there but to mess with my head. Although told in the style of a spaghetti junction, you can work out that overall its the story of a seemingly perfect couple that drift apart through lies and deceit.
It’s a very real story, the way they drift apart is very natural and the sex is even more natural, literally as natural as you can get. Gaspar certainly nailed these aspects of a love story but where this film really seems to divert from reality lies within the screenplay. I don’t think I have ever been as confused at dialogue as I have at this film. What they are saying is fine, the conversations are comprehensible but the way most people speak is just so unrealistic. A pure example is when they meet the third lady they want to use for a threesome, the first time they meet, they invite her for dinner. Whilst they are out for the this girl instantly confesses that she was an accident and then proceeds to ask Electra if shes ever had an abortion…… ?!?@?@ what??? Why did you just…… what????? I don’t get it and there were a few other moments like this that are so out of nowhere and so unrealistic that it seriously distracts from the reality that he is trying to build by using real sex. The real sex makes it real but the language is just bizarre so It just completely cancels out everything else Gaspar is trying to achieve.
One last negative thing to say because it has to be mentioned. This film is insanely self indulgent, it seems like Gaspar made this film based around him. I’m going to have to give examples, the main character is a filmmaker who talks about how films should be made to be controversial (Gaspar) and how he wants to make a film showing sensuality and sex for what it truly is (Love, literally describing his film). The main characters were talking about having babies, Electra asks “if we had a boy, what would you name it?”, I jokingly said out loud to my dog, “Gaspar” and would you believe it, he responds “Gaspar” and I had to pause it because I didn’t believe it. There are plenty more examples of this during the film but it was just odd the whole way through, I get that you write from experience but to include props from your previous films as a direct reference to your films then I just find it strange.
It may seem like I didn’t like the film but I still very much enjoyed it. I love Gaspar’s style and the way he loves to push boundaries because it is super inspiring. I mean it doesn’t inspire me to make porn but a lot of filmmakers should follow his ability to not follow the same road as everyone else. That being said, this is a good film, but certainly not at the same calibre as his other films for sure. Weirdly, even considering you’re seeing a dude actually raw dogging a girl, this film seemed fairly mellow compared to his other films. I can only recommend this film if you’re seriously into experimental films and ones that push boundaries, otherwise I don’t think this is something you could watch with your mum and dad, but if you feel like the family would enjoy seeing CGI of the of a vagina being plowed by a dick from the inside then get everyone on the sofa and enjoy this sexploration adventure.