The kind of set-up that you find in foreign films at Curzon cinemas: the lives of several young people come together in different ways; subplots cross over and merge, weaving a meditation on love and humanity. This one though doesn’t reach meditation level, unlike, for example, Italian for Beginners or Crustacés et Coquillages, although it is usually fun, engaging and intelligent (but thank God one of the couples doesn’t end up happy-ever-after – such glib perfection would have been too much). The characters are unlikeable: they’re all either weak and self-pitying (the majority) or coldly self-regarding. They also all look the same, and have offensively wealthy and pointless young-American lives. The women are crushingly insecure, full either of scowlingly ugly mistrust, or pawing desperation to get some kind of commitment from a man, any man. Misogynist? I think it is, despite the dénouement of the only-cool-male’s taste-of-own-medicine, when he discovers an unconvincing attraction for a girl which is not just sexual. Does he call it love? He might, but, despite the endearing pieces-to-camera from strangers about love which punctuate the film, the L-word never gets to warm the film’s heart.
- Abortion Aeneid Aeschylus aesthetics Aidan Andrew Dun Alexander Allingham Antigone Art Blake Bowie Brideshead Christianity Comedy Conrad death drama Eliot English epic ethics Feminism Fleet Forster French Godot Gormenghast Greek Greek history Hartley historiography history Homer Iliad Jesus Larkin literary theory Literature London love Modernism Montaigne Music myth Mythology Oedipus Philip Gross Philosophy Plato poetry politics post-modernism Protagoras psychogeography Quakers Religion Romance Roman history Sayers Sex Socrates Sophocles Theology Theseus The Wind in the Willows thriller Tragedy Travel Troy Truman Show Virgil War Wilde Wimsey World War II