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2/3/08

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Amelie is one of my favorite all time films, so when I saw the trailer for Love Me If You Dare a couple years later, it looked like an Amelie clone, a whimsical French romantic-comedy, shot in an overly colorful style. But I'd heard good things about the film, so my wife and I went and saw it anyways, we were pleasantly surprising when the film became so dark, that it took it's own path, that the films really have nothing beyond the colorful look, a narrator and being French in common.


Young Julian's mother is dying, she gives him a carousel tin, that soon becomes the catalyst for a lifetime of trouble. It begins when he meets a girl Sophie, who is being teased by the other students, while she's picking her books off the street, he hands her the tin, so he can sneak inside the bus and set in in motion while the rest of the kids are still inside. Soon after this his mother dies, he has no direction to go, Sophie and the tin are all that remain, and a dangerous lifetime of games of dare begins.


As long as one of them holds the tin, the other has to do whatever they want. The games are fairly innocent at first, ruining a table full of food at a wedding, sometimes they're just funny; but as they grow older, their games get worse and worse; until people are getting seriously hurt. For their own stupid selfish reasons they don't end up in a relationship together, although they are obviously in love, but the game rules their life. When Sophie dares Julian to leave her alone for 10 years, it seems like death to him, without the game, his life means nothing.


The film is beautifully made, gorgeously photographed; full of fun and memorable scenes. Both the leads, Guillaume Canet as Julien and Marion Cotillard as Sophie, have a wonderful chemistry together, and pull you into this dark fantasy. Written & Directed by first time feature filmmaker Yann Samuell has created a wonderfully dark romantic-comedy. I've always appreciated romantic-comedies that have a dark side, because while love can be the most wonderful thing in the world, it can also be the most painful, nothing can create more torment within one's soul. So light and airy romantic films never stick with me. This film the most messed-up ending for a romantic-comedy ever, they go to sickening lengths for their love.


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