Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Names of Love (Le Nom des Gens)

A rather stiff veterinarian meets a young woman whose main cause is to sleep with right-wing conservatives in order to change their opinion. Hijinks follow.

But this movie is not just about hijinks. Oh, there are plenty of amusing moments, even guffaw-worthy, as both characters are rather funny in their almost stereotypical way. However, as it turns out, there's more to Arthur Martin and Baya Benmahmoud than the assumptions one could make about their names or their looks.

The script is witty and challenging, all at the same time. You wonder why each of them doesn't split from the relationship, except that you understand the attraction. She's extroverted, gorgeous, inviting, but stubborn and sees only black-and-white. He's curious, smart, amusing, but stubborn and rather anal. And their parents are nothing short of challenging, but are charming in their own way.

It's an interfaith story with more than an interfaith bent. She wears her nationality on her sleeve, he dismisses his. There are more layers to these two than you're used to in a movie, and everybody has secrets. And as you peel these outside skins away, there's never a boring moment: I was enchanted from beginning to end.

Thumb's up.


At 8:03 PM, Blogger Dawn Kepler said...

For me the story takes place on a deeper level than the couple. They and their relationship is a product of who their parents are and the suffering each set of parents is hiding. The message appears to be that happiness will come when we are all a big 'melting pot.' A very Hollywood kind of end. The next chapter should be how their own children are shaped by *their* parents' blind spots.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Dawn Kepler said...

This is one of these films that has a plot line and then another story underneath. I am fascinated by the ways in which each of main characters' parents - and the secrets of the parents - shape their lives and identities.

The conclusion postulates a rather American idea, that happiness will come when we are one big melting pot.

A great conversation starter!!


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