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The Independent Critic

Audrey Tatou, Samuel Le Bihan, Isabelle Carre, Sophie Guillemin, Clement Sibony
Laetitia Colombani
Laetitia Colombani w/collaboration by Caroline Thivel
96 Mins.
First Run Features

 "He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not" Released by First Run Features  
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Angelique (Audrey Tatou), a talented art student, is in love with Loic (Samuel Le Bihan), a married cardiologist whose wife is expecting their first child. Things begin to take a dangerous turn when Angelique becomes less discreet with her affections and her attempts to break up the couple fail. Halfway through, however, the film takes a dramatic turn and reverses perspective - showing the preceding events through the eyes of Loic's wildly different point-of-view.

He Loves Me ... He Loves Me Not is a dark, witty, intelligent and fun thriller with twists and turns that are surprising, especially toward the end, yet feel incredibly right over the course of the film. It's a bit of a joy watching an actress such as Audrey Tatou, so innocent and wonderful in the film that continues to endear her to American audiences, Amelie, yet a film that also doesn't begin to reveal the depths of Tatou's incredible talents. In this film, she greets us initially with that warmth and smile that we've come to know and love about her.

Then, we get to know her.

This film is a darker and more devious performance for Tatou and yet it's no less compelling.

Director Laetitia Colombani was 27-years-old when she directed this, her first feature, and she confidently directs the two talented co-leads while crafting a film about perspective that is both intelligent and masterful in the way it's all played out. It is a film that benefits from a second viewing, because Colombani's direction is a journey that practically demands a revisit. I found things the second time around that I hadn't appreciated upon my first viewing, perhaps because I was expecting a different type of film than the one I watched but also because Colombani has assembled a captivating puzzle that still manages to thrill.

Audrey Tatou is perfectly cast as Angelique, though anyone whose followed the trajectory of her career won't be surprised by this fact. She is required to have a tremendous range here and she pulls it off quite nicely. The same is true for Samuel Le Bihan, most known to American audiences for Brotherhood of the Wolf, as he must essentially play two sides of the same coin. He does so quite admirably and keeps the pace with Tatou incredibly well. Among the supporting players, Sophie Guillemin is most successful and gives the film a definite spark.

He Loves Me ... He Loves Me Not never quite attracted the audience it deserved in theatrical release, but a DVD release from indie distributor First Run Features should help give the film the public notice it deserves. For fans of Audrey Tatou, the film is practically a must see.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic