December 19, 2012

Happy Wed. -20 and pretty dark here.

We watched a pretty good French movie (English subtitles) called Les Noms des Gens, English title The Names of Love. It’s a quirky story about a young French woman who sleeps with “fascists” (mainly people she considers right-wingers) to get them to be progressive. Arthur Martin (the same name as a famous brand of clothes washer—“c’est tres ergonomique!”) meets her when he talks about quarantining birds with disease, which she considers fascist. They become involved, but there is way more to this goofy comedy than I can even suggest here.

The film examines what it is to be French. The young woman is half French and half Arab. The man is half Gentile and half Jew. Each has quirky parents, and there are many amusing scenes where the characters discuss politics and social life in France from ludicrous angles. There are also a series of running jokes, such as Arthur’s parents always having bought the new technology that was superseded. They still use a Betamax, laserdiscs, and an electric carving knife.

The dialogue is witty, the situations are often hilarious. Not for children (French swearing, nudity). Many critics loved it; Ebert gave it three stars and wished it was funnier. We got it from the public library, but Netflix has it. 80 percent on the Tomatometer.

Names of Love dvd

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