This is a devious romantic thriller, which makes use of Audrey Tatou’s iconographic radiance as a springboard to play a diabolical narrative game. Playing Angelique, her doe eyes and crooked-toothed smile make her a symbol of the Parisian toujours l’amour – just like her signature role as Amelie. The first half hour of this movie will constantly remind you of that role of hers, or at least a sugar-coated caricature of it. Without much further ado, let’s take a look at our He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not movie review, and see whether you should spend your precious time watching it.
Angelique Tautou is having an affair with Loic, who is a very handsome cardiologist, who is a decade older than her, and also married. She is blissfully wrapped up in that affair, and the viewers are constantly being led to believe that Loic is constantly on the verge of leaving his wife. Angelique is first shown surrounded by roses, and has a messenger deliver a single flower to Loic’s office. There are also other gifts, such as her portrait of Loic. Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E” is constantly repeated in the background, to emphasize the atmosphere and fluffy mood. Even though it isn’t one of Cole’s best performances, Angelique has it stuck in her head as “their” song. And, as the movie starts serving us some of the twists that we’re about to discuss, its repetition turns into something sinister.
Not all is well, and we’re constantly reminded that things aren’t all that romantic, such as the unreturned phone calls, Loic’s failure to show up at the airport when Angelique is packed for a vacation, or the failure to ever see the lovers in a clinch. Things start to go awry when Angelique hears that Loic’s been accused of assault by one of his female patients. The next day, that same female patient is found dead, and Angelique has no idea what she should do.
This is where we witness the director, Laetitia Colombiani’s stunningly effective splitting of viewpoints. The movie takes us back to the beginning, and we have a chance to see those same events, but from Loic’s point of view, which gives us Angelique in a much darker light. What she sees as a vaunted affair, he sees as a stalker’s obsessive fantasy, a stalker who is barely acquainted with what she desires. We’re taken through a retrospective sorting of the clues that show that not everything is all well. However, even though the movie aims for a crowning final twist, in this situation, it actually falls flat.
The first part of the movie will show off Angelique’s delicate shoulders, which in no way makes her suitable for a conniving and vengeful stalker like she’s to be portrayed afterwards. Her little smile might seem a bit crazy, but it is actually blank, failing to connect to any strong passion. Turning Ms. Tautou’s waifish charms on themselves in order to suggest some kind of a demonic witchery may sound dramatic, but in this movie, it’s nothing more than an ineffective gimmick.
The opposing sides undoubtedly leave us to maintain our sympathies, and this somewhat pays off in the suspenseful second part of the movie. However, that part about obsessive romance is nothing more than a cliched dramatic, and a not very successful one.