Love Me If You Dare
Have you ever watched a film and felt like it was so great and then wonder why it wasn’t a huge success? Every once in a great while, you find a film that is truly wonderful and for a brief moment, you feel like a genius for discovering something special. It’s almost as if you’re in on a secret that no one else knows. That’s exactly how I felt when I watched LOVE ME IF YOU DARE.
LOVE ME IF YOU DARE tells the story of Julien (Guillaume Canet) and Sophie (Marion Cotillard, before her Oscar winning performance in LA VIE EN ROSE). Their story begins when they’re little kids, both coping with their own familial issues. But the entire movie is based around this tin box that represents the physical manifestation of their “dare” game. Once exchanged, the person with the box has to follow through with whatever dare the other assigns them. Many of us have played variations of this game during our childhood, but Julien and Sophie continue to play it through adulthood.
Of course, as they get older, their dares get more and more life-impacting. But the real joy in the film is the chemistry between Julien and Sophie. As you might expect, there’s a lingering romantic interest between them and as much as the tin box brings them together as friends, it manages to keep them apart as lovers. But it’s not long before the audience is rooting for them to find each other and along the way, we have one of the absolute most original screenplays that has ever been put on film.
This is a French film from Yann Samuell and admittedly, it has a little bit of the French quirkiness that seems to resonate throughout French cinema. But it’s used in moderation and never detracts from the story. For those that hate subtitles, trust me when I say that this film will very quickly make you forget you’re even reading subtitles. Not only is the film wonderfully directed, but in typical European style, its filled with beautiful colors and great scenery.
But as great as the directing and screenwriting was, the real gems in the film are Canet and Cotillard. They were fantastic and if you’re wondering why Marion Cotillard is a hot commodity in Hollywood these days, look no further than this film. She’s a rare talent that manages to combine amazing beauty and immense ability. Guillaume Canet reminds me of Patrick Dempsey, but with talent. I have a feeling it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a bigger star.
When I discuss movies with my closest friends, we all have a rule that we don’t build up a film too much because it sets everyone’s expectations too high and that inevitably leads to the film being disappointed. I’m weary of that, but I feel confident in saying that this is a magnificent film and if you can find a copy, you should definitely pick it up.