Vet cineaste Claude Lelouch has never been famous for subtlety, but he reaches untold levels of kitsch in “Ces amours-la … ,” a vulgar pastiche of cinema and history that transforms events of WWII into an embarrassing musical comedy-cum-Telenovela-style drama. Starring Audrey Dana (“Welcome”) as a woman whose affairs with two Frenchies, two Yanks and one Nazi span several decades, this flawed meditation on life, love and Lelouch’s own filmography (clips included) is definitely not the highlight of his lengthy career. Francophone slots will follow a lackluster local release.
Revisiting the Gaul of his youth, the helmer tracks free-loving Ilva (Dana) as she hops from one bed to another, with neither narrative logic nor emotional pull. Although pic bears similarities to “Inglourious Basterds” (Ilva also works in a movie house), whatever grand ideas Lelouch had in mind are blindsided by several ill-advised scenaristic leaps, including scenes of Jews happily bonding on their way to Auschwitz or indulging in a Charles Trenet song prior to execution. Shot partially in Romania’s MediaPro Studios, the €8 million ($11 million) co-production suffers from budgetary shortcuts and an overall cinematic blandness.