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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
Columbia/Tri-Star // PG-13 // August 12, 2003
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by James W. Powell | posted September 27, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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THE FILM
Angelique (Audrey Tautou) is having an affair with Loic (Samuel Le Bihan), a married man who will soon be a father. At the outset of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, it's apparent these two are very happy together. But things aren't as simple as they seem. Or are they?

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is told from two perspectives. The first is that of Angelique, the blossoming young artist who is deeply in love and can't stop thinking about her lover. She'll do anything to make sure Loic is aware of her passion, from sending him flowers or paintings, to writing an evil note on his windshield when she spies him with his wife.

Watching Angelique obsess over this married man is both humorous and sad. Anyone who has waited up all night for that phone call from someone special will understand what she's going through when she moves from sheer delight at being asked to go on a vacation, to utter anger at being stood up at the airport. Unfortunately, this section of the film drags on a bit too much. Her obsession grows, but the tension does not. Angelique goes from one extreme to the other: One second she's sure he's the one, the next she's sending him a human heart to symbolize how she feels. This back and forth raises too many questions, forcing me to doubt the character and the events that transpire. It's obvious Loic isn't the one for her, so it became hard to believe that she would stick with the relationship.

Luckily, the film changes perspectives just in time and I never gave up on the movie. More importantly, the film kicks into high gear with this switch and takes on a completely different feel. This time around, the entire story is shown from Loic's perspective. I won't give anything away here. All I can say is that things aren't as they first appeared, which makes the second half of this film so much fun. Realization strikes as the story unfolds a second time, and new shocking, funny revelations are found around every corner.

Although the first part of this film is a tad slow and drags on a bit, the second half makes it worth the wait. However, these revelations have such a strong impact, that subsequent viewings of the film don't hold the same emotion. He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is not like Fight Club or Usual Suspect, two films that are completely different the second time through yet still completely enjoyable for different reasons after the surprise is revealed. Instead, in this case, all the fun is taken away, leaving only a hollow shell with little impact or emotion.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is definitely worth seeing, particularly for those who enjoy romantic comedies that aren't your typical Hollywood fare. Comparing the story from two perspectives is a new spin on the romantic comedy. I just can't recommend owning this one.

THE VIDEO
Columbia TriStar presents He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85, enhanced for widescreen televisions. The image is exactly what I expected from a low-budget foreign film: good, but not flawless. The best part of this transfer are the colors. They are bright and very vivid, which is good since the film showcases a number of scenes with reds. Blacks are good, but detail doesn't always necessarily reach far into the background. There are only a few instances of that fuzzy, grainy look during night scenes, but these are unobtrusive.

THE AUDIO
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not is a quiet, dialog-heavy film that is presented here in 5.1 Dolby Digital (French track only, with optional English subtitles). As you might expect, the film sounds great because there's not much to it. Voices sound crisp and clean, which is key. Rears are used primarily for ambiance if at all, and there are very few instances for the low end sound. This is to be expected, so there's nothing to really complain about here.

THE BONUS FEATURES
All you get here are three trailers, none of which are for the feature film. You get Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (anamporphic and 5.1), My Life as an Actress, and Talk to Her.

THE MENUS
Did you expect anything but static menus on a disc with no special features? Sorry, not this time.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The first time through this romantic comedy is fun and surprising. On repeat viewings, however, the entertainment level decreases rapidly. This makes it perfect for a one time rental.

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