And Other Drugs: (Over?)Indulging in Gaspar Noe’s “Love”

A Review

Rating — *****

The spurt-ful explosion of semen, freely flinging into the air. In 3D. Imagine that. Perhaps not since Jackass 3(D)’s slow motion, smoothly captured and richly textured flying piece of poop has there been a sequence that not only properly utilizes the gimmick technology better than 90% of mainstream films, but even makes comment on it. The movie is called Love, the latest kinetic work from Gaspar Noe. In promotions, the 3D angle is violently played upon, almost to the point of full blown penetration of our eye sockets. If this discourages you from watching, that’s a shame. If this encourages you, that’s also a shame. Sort of.

“I fucking love Europe” the ex American male lead Murphy remarks at one point — specifically prior to a threesome. Indeed, there is A LOT of S E X in this movie. In beds, in hallways, on floors, on couches, outside, indoors, etc. All of this is shown through Murphy’s fractured / drug high timeline memory. His body a bundle of sensitive nerves (much like a piece of him we see plenty of), he walks about his apartment, remembering the good and bad times of his electric relationship with Elektra, who he gravely misses. His first memory? Getting a passionate handjob from her. Technically, that was an early morning dream…

… which expresses, from the get go, that he regrets his current life. From the way he carries himself to the philistine Malick like inner monologue he spouts about disliking his wife, he wishes to turn back the clock. Saddled with a young son, he can only flashback and dream. Or nightmare. Through this one day of sulking, we see the full scope of his and Elektra’s romance. Non linear and with brilliantly shifting connotations as the duration progresses, Love goes through the death, life, evolution, destruction and resolution of, well, love.

Capturing the sensual honesty between the two main young folk, Love does something spectacular with what is, basically, a story that’s been told a thousand times. The boy meets girl scenario through the weary eyed mind of a tired and trapped young adult. As blunt as an erection at times and as subtle as a soft kiss at others, Love, through its eye popping and richly textured visuals, paints a most haunting story of millennial heartbreak. Of learning lessons without being patted on the back for it. Of growing up and having to deal with it. Of the ultimate cock block that is time.

Scary and shattering all at once, people will probably leave screenings of Love either deeply affected or profoundly disappointed. Affected by the maturity beyond the sex or disappointed at the sex beneath the maturity. No shame in either, but know that something more will lurk behind the curtain. And no, I don’t just mean a guy ejaculating in 3D.

Independent film critic. Progressive po’ boy, moviegoing romantic. SEFCA member, 🍅 - approved. Newsletter at moviesdm.substack.com

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