Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Loved You So Long: A Movie Review...for Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys

I don't even remember the last French movie I saw before this one. Actually, it was probably the Triplets of Belleville; one my favorite animated movies not involving over-the-top violence or giant robots. I don't have any thing against the French. Hell, that's where Cheick Kongo is from.

(Left: UFC fighter Cheick Kongo Right: Ex felon/fight promoter/black vampire/denim wearer Don King)

I have to admit I was apprehensive about going to see this movie. The title itself oozes estrogen and if my friend Sarah didn't want to go see it I could of happily spent that Friday night doing what I usually do, namely practicing my one man play. However, I "manned up", journeyed into the land of chick flicks and was rewarded with a very intriguing story that made up for the use of a dead language and subtitles...yeah I said it.

I Loved You So Long is a film about two sisters reuniting after the oldest (Juliette) spends 15 months in prison. Lea (the younger sister) has made a nice life as a college professor, a wife and a mother of two adopted Vietnamese children. As to be expected, Juliette struggles to adapt to her new life. Even though she can't escape her past, it doesn't keep her from making new friends (mostly men). Much of the film focuses on her attempt to enter the work force as a someone who just spent over a decade behind bars. This turns out to be a great device to show how she now deals with people and the effect she has on others when they learn of her past.

The film's pace is just perfect. The manner and order of how information of the past is delivered keeps you interested. Unless you watch it with someone who likes to ask questions during movies. In that case get your nose punching shoes on, cause you are gonna need em'. The movie's plot isn't anything groundbreaking, but the acting is solid, especially from the two main characters (Elsa Zylberstein and Kristin Scott Thomas). I wish I could comment on the dialogue, but all I can really say is that it read well.

Overall, well worth the 8 clams spent. Many reviews I've found are taking away points for the ending, but I fount it profoundly appropriate. Very nifty use of a helicopter chase scene. If you can still catch this one at the Fine Arts Theatre in Asheville you should take a couple of hours out of the day to check it out. If not, throw it on your Netflix queue or wait in the Blockbuster breadline.

No comments: