The most “shocking” film at the Cannes film festival may indeed have brought on some… wetness, but also brought along a boring, immature story.
“Love” will make boys hard and girls shed tears” Gaspar Noé was saying about his new film. Leaving aside this sexist nonsense of a comment, let us say that girls and boys may have got slightly hard but there was no sign of emotion whatsoever. The film is a love story in 3D, with plenty of hardcore sex, penetrations, oral marathons, threesomes, swingers, an unfortunate intercourse with a trans, of course a closeup of a penis ejaculating towards the camera (did we say the film is in 3D?). The sex is really beautiful, because Noé is a master of warm lighting, of the fiery red, of the sensitive closeups: his love scenes have nothing to do, aesthetically, with porn. On the contrary, they look more like the scenes of “Irreversible”’s finale, with an added sensual lyricism.
However, if Gaspar Noé wanted to experiment cinematically with hardcore sex, he didn’t need to tie it up with an unbearably boring, clichéd, awkward story of a great love that you will enjoy if you are 12 (in which case you will not be allowed in the screening) and you will laugh at if you are beyond puberty. The story talks about Murphy (yes, there is a definition of Murphy’s Law on the screen!) and Electra, who, in their 20s, fall madly in love, even though he is an American filmmaking student in Paris and she is a student at Beaux Arts with the dark semblance of a cursed artist. As they gradually begin to expand their sexual horizons, they have a threesome with another girl (which is naturally 16 years old, making Murphy exclaim “I love Europe!”). Murphy will see her again when Electra is away, the condom will break, she will become pregnant and Murphy will have to abandon his love in order to set up a family, even though everyone seems to be unhappy in this equation.
The professional actor in the film is Karl Glusman, but you would never guess this from his sullen look and blank stare. The debutante Aomi Muyock, on the contrary, is one of the most beautiful women we have recently seen on the big screen, a combination of young Angelina Jolie and Jane Birkin. We bet that the couple’s dialogues are result of improvisations, since they are onliners of the type: “What is the meaning of life?” – “Love” – ”I have to kiss you.” But also the entire plot of the film is something out of a school diary, with the respective grandiose passion, wanton self-destruction and the naive decisions, but without the freshness of even one genuine memory. The reason for this seems to be that Gaspar Noé, if not cinematically, definitely so mentally, is stuck at the age of 12 as far as his erotic development is concerned. An immature guy who swoons at the idea of sex and whatever else a child finds shocking. So, yes, “Love” is beautiful and intriguing by reflex, but let’s not make a big deal out of it, since the film cannot support its own concept and given that, for better or worse, the internet is full of erotic let-outs for every taste so that we do not need to look forward to seeing them in the official program of the Cannes Film Festival.