“He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” – Chris Luedtke

In my personal opinion, it takes a damn lot to be clever in this world. Right now, my expectations of clever have been lowered to such standards as those on second-rate Wal-Mart t-shirts that intentionally call themselves out by basically saying, “Look at me! I’m clever ‘cause I bought this shirt!” Naturally, my answer to this is, “No, you’re just a sucker.” The film He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is just the exact opposite of those dumb shirts. Whereas they’ll always fail thanks to their banality, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not manages to be clever, witty, and original on all levels. You’d be a sucker not to see this.

Angélique (Audrey Tautou) is a young student who’s in love with a married doctor named Loïc (Samuel Le Bihan). When Loïc gets his wife pregnant, Angélique is sure that she will still come out on top. But suddenly, Loïc stops showing up for meetings, dates, and the booked vacation to Florence. Angélique becomes desperate with jealousy and vengeance, as she tries to make Loïc hers and hers alone. But the constant question that erupts throughout is, what is really wrong with Loïc?

No one can play a bitchy girl like Tautou. If you haven’t had the chance to see her in this role, you don’t know what you’re missing. Angélique is one of the strongest characters she’s ever played, and her ruthlessness is comparable to a spiteful mother-in-law. It’s in the way she walks, the words she says, and the actions she takes. She’s angry, she’s spiteful, and we can’t help but love it. The story behind He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not just helps to enhance every bit of her being. Loïc is the perfect ignoring dick sort — or at least that is what we’re led to believe.

The beautiful thing about this film’s plot is its brilliant two-person perspective. This is a love story that has two very different outlooks on one relationship. The way Angélique sees things is quite different from how Loïc sees them. The calculation here is precise, and for what director Laetitia Colombani pulls here, it needs to be! The little twists and turns are what we get swept up in. The psychology of the characters here is absolutely essential to the story.

It’s hard to say a lot about this film if one hasn’t seen it already. When I went into it, I didn’t really know what to expect. The film is about as straightforward as it has to be in order to get the point across, and that is the beauty here. When it all seems so simple, it really isn’t. He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is a masterpiece without flaw. See it now.

Rating: ★★★★

-Chris Luedtke

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