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"The Names of Love" Movie Review
"The Names of Love" (Le Nom des Gens)
The Names of Love is a delightful, wacky little French comedy which will be enjoyed by anyone who's interested in politics and isn't offended by Sara Forestier's several nude scenes. (No body doubles for her! She's well-equipped for nude scenes.) Forestier plays a young, modern French hippie, Baya Benmahmoud, half Algerian Arab and half French, who brags that she always jumps into bed on her first dates.(She has many first dates!) She's a far-left socialist whose motto is "make love not war" and whose mission in life is converting conservatives who she refers to as "fascists" by taking them to bed. She attributes her success to her observation that there are "a few brief moments" in bed when conservatives are susceptible to changing their political orientation.
Forestier's performance won the French Oscar-equivalent, and she overshadows her co-star, Jacques Gamblin, who plays Arthur Martin, a repressed bird disease expert, who is devoted to the :"precautionary principle" in his work for the French government health department collecting dead birds and testing them for possible dangerous viruses. He may be the first person whom Baya wasn't able tot get into bed on their first encounter. Baya is attracted to Arthur Martin (the name of a popular French washing machine brand) and is thrilled when she learns that his maternal grandparents died in the holocaust. She excitedly proclaims "That's so cool! The two of us embody France. We're the future of humanity!"and pledges her love for Martin. At the inevitable dinner for their parents to meet, Baya and her sixties, left-wing hippie mother manage immediately to offend Arthur's conservative parents.
Aside from Forestier and Gamblin's romance and humor straight out of Stiller, DeNiro, Hoffman, Danner and Streisand's Meet the Fockers, the movie offers a cameo performance by Lionel Jospin, former Prime Minister and two-time candidate for President of France. (Jaspin denies he was converted to socialism by Baya!)
The couple's parents were ably played by Zinedine Soualem, Carole Franck, Michele Moretti and Jacques Baudet. The movie was written and directed by Michel Leclerc.
[Click on photos to enlarge them.]
6-23-11NY Times "Names of Love" Reviewed by Stephen Holden
- The Names of Love, Directed by Michel Leclerc - Review - NYTimes.com
In The Names of Love a young Frenchwoman carries the philosophy of make love, not war to comic extremes.
Wiki Bio of Sara Forestier
- Sara Forestier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sara Forestier (b.1986) is a French actress who lives in Paris. She received a Cesar Award for Most Promising Actress in Games of Love and Chance (2003). She won the Cesar Award for Best Actress in 2011 for "Names of Love."
Jacques Gamblin Wiki Bio
- Jacques Gamblin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
French actor b. 1957. Nominated best actor at 2002 Berlin Film Festival.