UNDISCOVERED GEMS – LOVE ME IF YOU DARE (2003)

Love.Me.if.You.Dare

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Guillaume Canet, Thibault Verhaeghe, Josephine Lebas-Joly

Directed by: Yann Samuell

Synopsis: As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children — a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another’s pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another.

This is one of those films that occasionally you just stumble across and fall in love with. In my case, I turned over on TV one night and it was relatively near to the start. For some reason it captured my imagination and attention and I couldn’t stop watching.

The funny thing was, I didn’t know any of it’s stars (Cotillard wasn’t a star back then) and I didn’t catch the title of the film, so I never found out what it was. After several years and improvements in technology (IMDb), I finally found out what it was, and promptly got hold of a copy and watched it again with fresh eyes. And I still found it fantastic!

The film tracks the relationship, from childhood to adulthood of Julien (Canet) and Sophie (Cotillard). They basically start a game where they dare each other to do more and more outrageous things. It starts fairly innocently and then as they get older it becomes more and more dangerous and risky.

The game that started innocently between two children starts to poison their relationship as they get older, and realise that they are in love. They use the game as an excuse to ruin each others lives until eventually they end up with nothing but each other.

It’s a really clever film, especially in it’s use of colour. The colour scheme changes from when the characters are children to when they are adults, to when they are an old couple. The song ‘La Vie En Rose’ by Edith Piaf features a few times in different guises (Cotillard went on to play Piaf in the film of the same name).

Many critics derided the film on release, due to the unlikeable lead characters, but I didn’t find I had that problem when I watched it. Sure, they are pretty horrible people, but it certainly didn’t ruin the film. It has a childlike quality at times that really won me over.

4 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.

14 comments

  1. Sounds very interesting! I may have to check it out, especially as I’m half in love with Cotillard!

  2. 13mesh

    Nice review! Love Me If You Dare is one of my favourite film. It made me fall in love with the French cinema. Oh, and the soundtrack is also gorgeous.. I still listen to it from time to time 😀

  3. giorge thomas

    This sounds really interesting. In the scheme of things, Heathcliff and Cathy from Wuthering Heights are deplorable as characters go, but that didn’t stop this book being a classic. And this seems to be in the same vein – that their only likeable features is their love for one another.

    • Check it out Giorge. The characters are more twisted and unfathomable than downright nasty. It’s got a nice childlike kind of quality to it too

  4. Nice review–never heard of this. Unlikeable characters can be endearing if they have something about them one can rationalize away their ugly traits. What an interesting sounding film.

  5. This is one of those crazy films I fell in love with almost instantaneously, and with Marion Cotillard. I watched this just before ‘La Vie en Rose’ was released in 2007. And yes, Cotillard was superb as Piaf.

  6. Another one to TBW list! I’m starting to like a lot this UNDISCOVERED GEMS series of yours. 🙂

    • Nice one, I’m glad you are enjoying it! Do you have any films you think have slipped under peoples radars?

      • The ones I like a lot but I think most of the people haven’t even heard of (or have heard and then forgotten) are In America and Secretary at least. Would you say Primal Fear is one too? Ed Norton is unbelievably good in it!
        I also liked Cronenberg’s Crash a lot. And Starter for 10 is decent teen comedy.

      • Secretary is excellent yeah. I don’t really know what an undiscovered gem is because if depends on the individual. I tend to base it on whether anyone I know has seen it!

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