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Sex, lies and “Amelie”-like cinematic tricks dominate “Madly in Love,” a carnal variation on musical chairs from Flanders that’s more flashy than profound. The third and most frivolous directorial effort of Belgian thesp Hilde Van Mieghem (“The Kiss”) is the kind of film in which a running commentary on the amorous travails of four women, delivered by a 12-year-old know-it-all, is considered cute. Star-powered crowdpleaser was a hit locally, but its overproduced plotlines and visuals will be less eagerly received elsewhere.

Actress Judith (Veerle Dobbelaere) still pines for her former hubby, architect and ex-alcoholic Bert (Koen De Bauw). Daughter Michelle (Marie Vinck, the helmer’s daughter) works for Dad but feel unappreciated. She was once secretly in love with Mathias (Kevin Janssens), who’s now unhappily married to Judith’s sister (Wine Dierickx), who, after failing to conceive, has thrown herself into the arms of colleague-cum-sex god Johan (Koen De Graeve). Van Mieghem and co-scripter Bert Scholiers violently shake up their spider diagram of sex, unfaithfulness and relationship issues several times, though a happy ending never seems in doubt. Perfs are fine, tech package as shiny as a Christmas present.

Madly in Love

Belgium

  • Production: A Kinepolis Film Distribution release of a Caviar Films production, in association with JWP Scholte Beheer, Incredible Film. Produced by Bert Hamelinck, Frank Van Passel. Co-producers, Sjef Scholte, Danielle Raaphorst. Directed by Hilde Van Mieghem. Screenplay, Van Mieghem, Bert Scholiers.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Jan Rubens, Wim Temmerman, Bob Williams; editor, Philippe Ravoet; music, Chrisnanne Wiegel, Melcher Meirmans, Merlijn Snitker; production designer, Kurt Loyens; costume designer, Catherine Van Bree. Reviewed on DVD, Luxembourg, Jan. 31, 2011. (Also in Palm Springs Festival -- World Cinema Now.) Running time: 90 MIN.
  • With: With: Marie Vinck, Veerle Dobbelaere, Koen De Bauw, Kevin Janssens, Wine Dierickx, Koen De Graeve, Aline Van Hulle, Huub Stapel, Jan Decleir, Stef Aerts. (Dutch dialogue)