Love Me

Executive producer, Nicolas Daguet.

Executive producer, Nicolas Daguet.

Directed, written by Laetitia Masson. Camera (color), Antoine Heberle; editor , Ailo Auguste; music, John Cale; art director, Arnaud de Moleron; costume designer, Emmanuelle Pertus. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (competing), Feb. 16, 2000. Original title: Love me. French & English dialogue. Running time: 107 MIN.

With: Sandrine Kiberlain, Johnny Hallyday, Jean-Francois Stevenin, Aurore Clement, Salome Stevenin, Anh Duong, Julie Depardieu, Christine Boisson, Elie Semoun, Julian Sands.

Pretentious is hardly the word for Laetitia Masson’s third feature, “Love Me, ” the kind of juvenile, self-indulgent Gallic tripe that gives auteurism a bad name. Substituting frippery for real ideas, and a dreamlike narrative for real structure, this desperately tedious pic about a mysterious young woman and an aging rock star looks set to die a loveless death even at French wickets.

Things start badly when Gabrielle Rose (Masson regular Sandrine Kiberlain) exits her trailer in curlers and dressing gown to perform a solo dance on the beach. Thereafter, in muddled manner, we follow her to a North American nightclub where she meets Lennox (Johnny Hallyday), a whiz at old Elvis numbers, whom she idolized in her youth. Also milling around are a man (Jean-Francois Stevenin) pursuing her with a gun, a middle-aged woman (Aurore Clement) who may be her mother, an adolescent (Salome Stevenin) who may be her younger alter ego, a sailor (Julian Sands) who dreams of opening a restaurant in Taipei, and a couple of lesbians. Dialogue is the kind that appears only in parodies of Robbe-Grillet movies, and perfs by the name cast are admirably straight-faced.

Love Me

(FRANCE)

Production: A Pyramide release of a Les Films Alain Sarde production. (International sales: Flach Pyramide Intl., Paris.) Produced by Alain Sarde.

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