Don’t be fooled by the title—Love is no romantic comedy safe for a first date. This is a film about the sperm, fluid, and tears of love, not the predictable feel-good story lines that chicks love.
Gaspar Noé’s new film features a passionate romance shared by Murphy, an expat American studying film in Paris, and Electra, a French art student. The pair’s chemistry isn’t electric—the majority of their conversations involves Murphy blurting out “deep” questions (que frat boy drawl: “What is love? What do you wanna name your kids? If I got you pregnant, what would you do? What is your sexual fantasy????”) and Electra answering coyly in her sexy accent. The conversations these two have are, frankly, so dull to listen in on. But that’s what Noé’s “love” is: it transforms the average boring and mundane comment into something ten times funnier, deeper, and more interesting. Noé shows that it doesn’t really matter what you’re saying, because from the first few moments you meet, you already have this amazing connection based on a mixture of body language, eye contact, reactions, and other factors I haven’t figured out yet.
Murphy and Electra’s relationship progresses from a bubble of happy and endless dumb stares into each others eyes to shrieking insults at each other in a taxi after both proving themselves as cheating and deceitful lovers. However, one thing remains constant throughout it all: the sex. Until the end of their relationship, love and sex are tied together. Prepare yourself for 3D projectile cum shots, a 10-minute opening scene of a hand job, and a threesome with a minor.
Look past the sex, however, and you’ll see Noé’s subtle depiction of love: something so passionate, so volatile, and so baseless. Murphy’s tactless questions and the couple’s dumb conversations might lead some audience members to believe that Noé’s idea of young love is based on sex. But this is proven untrue by the introduction of the third member of the threesome: Omi, the alluring 16-year-old neighbor who will later be the mother of Murphy’s child. But Murphy never falls in love with “hot” Omi. Sex is a huge part of love, but it doesn’t create that magic, pulling connection that two young lovers share.
I know I’ve gotten into spoiling the film quite a bit now, but the point is this: watch the film, and go alone. Because if you’re spending the entire time giggling with your uncomfortable girlfriends when an on-screen penis cums into your lap, it’s harder to understand the subtle messages about love that Noé includes in his film. Love is not a predictable thing. We can’t tell who we’re going to have a connection with, no matter how bad their frat boy drawl is, and why we do or don’t. Love just is this crazy idea that makes you so engrossed in someone else’s being, and when it’s absent, it’s easy to see how boring or not stimulating those people really are.
Apart from the message, the film’s got a killer soundtrack, beautiful 3D shots, and editing that mimics the blink of an eye, making the progression of scenes so much more human. This movie is real, it’s raw, and honestly, it’s 100% the kind of love I die for.
Check out the trailer for the UK release below (most Safe for Work and comprehensive of the plot), which gives me the chills every time.