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MOVIE REVIEW: I Am Love

Not a lot of love for this disappointment

I Am Love: Rates a D.
Courtesy photo

I Am Love I didn’t love. In fact, I didn’t even like it. Not even enough to say, “We can still be friends. I’ll catch you on cable someday, maybe at a Blockbuster in the ‘previously viewed’ section, and we’ll catch up on old times.”

Nope. If this movie is anywhere on a screen I’m near, the channel will be changed.

It baffles me that it’s so highly praised by the critics; especially when people leaving the theatreall hated it. Four women all clapped and made comments about being glad the two hour film was over. A gay couple was leaving and said, “I didn’t get the ending at all. What was happening in that cave?” I sarcastically said, “Wasn’t it obvious?” (It wasn’t.)

But before we get to the cave and the ending, let’s deal with the premise.

Tilda Swinton, who I think is the best actress working today (a perfect example is last years Julia, where she played an alcoholic so well in such a bad film, she almost made it worth seeing on her performance alone). She couldn’t overcome this, even though she spoke Italian with a Russian accent. How many actors would be able to pull that one off?

She leaves Russia, marrying perhaps the richest guy in Milan, and falls in love with a chef that caters their parties (and happens to be a good friend to her son).

She has a daughter that has broken up with her boyfriend and fallen in love with a woman, and a husband that she just doesn’t seem to love anymore.

There’s also a story dealing with the family business possibly being sold. All these premises are interesting enough, but it’s kind of like music.

You could have the worst band in the world, go into the best recording studio with the best producers, and great cover art done for their CD. And just because the quality will all be great, doesn’t mean you’re going to like the songs on the disc.

And that’s the problem with this movie. There are some long tracking shots that work well. There’s some close-ups of food that are done nicely (they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…well, that seems to apply for women, too; Swinton gives Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally a run for her money when she’s enjoying the prawns).

But through much of this film, you feel like you’re watching a soap opera. Especially with an over-the-top musical score that’s annoying and doesn’t really fit the scenes we’re watching. I feel a musical score shouldn’t really be noticeable, and if it is, it should be good (as was the score the Italian film Il Postino).

There are some scenes that are just baffling. A sex scene that cuts back and forth between bugs, seems like something a college film student put together to be symbolic and arty.

And although the characters are all interesting, you never become emotionally invested. In fact, an accident occurs that has the family at the hospital. It’s one of the few hospital scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie where I didn’t have tears in my eyes. And I cry during Visa commercials.

And as much as the guys in front of me hated the closing scene in a cave (which appeared to be two bodies making love, but who knows)…I was more disappointed by a note given to a maid near the end, that is never given to Swinton. It made no sense that its contents were never revealed.

Do yourself a favor, and skip this movie.

I’m giving it a D.