For his feature film debut, director Yann Samuell mainlines into Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie for inspiration but can scarcely muster a contact high. In this candy-coated trifle, two kiddies shunned by their classmates contrive a game of dare mediated by a merry-go-round contraption—the older they get, the nastier the dares become. Seemingly trapped in an adolescent fantasy world, Julien (Guillaume Canet) and Sophie (Marion Cotillard) eventually learn that life (and love) isn’t a game. “Discipline is the mother of respect,” says someone to Julien at one point, but it’s a lesson that seemingly evades the film’s director. Though Julien and Sophie’s lifelong game is clearly a form of escapism, the director never truly defines what they’re running from or where they’re heading. Highly unpleasant, the main characters are not unlike soulless brats who get onto an endless theme park ride with no signs of stopping. If the characters in Love Me If You Dare see life as a cheap circus act, one could say Samuell feels similarly about the filmmaking process. Amélie had its problems, but Jeunet’s film certainly had an original vision. Surprisingly conventional and boring, Love Me If You Dare is a cheap form of flattery.
It looks like cotton candy and it sounds like a roller roaster out of control. (Native French speakers should note that the subtitles on the DVD are non-removable.)
Put this one in your "DVDs To Snort Coke Off Of" pile.