Love Songs (film)

Love Songs (film)

Infobox Film
name = Love Songs
(Les Chansons d'amour)

image_size = 210 px
caption =
director = Christophe Honoré
producer =
writer = Christophe Honoré
music = Alex Beaupain
cinematography = Rémy Chevrin
editing = Chantal Hymans
distributor = Bac Films (France), IFC Films, Red Envelope Entertainment (USA)
released = 2007
runtime = 100 mins
country = France
language = French
imdb_id = 0996605
"Love Songs" ( _fr. Les Chansons d'amour) is a French 2007 film by Christophe Honoré. It was one of the 20 films running for the Featured Films competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.cite web|url=!-1172176330&&rid=9222|title="Les Chansons d'Amour"||accessdate=2007-05-28|authorlink=Kirk Honeycutt ] , a musical about love, life and death starring Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier and Chiara Mastroianni. It was presented on Official Selection, thus it was nominated to the Golden Palm. The film's style is vaguely inspired by Jacques Demy film "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg", which starred Catherine Deneuve, who is Chiara Mastroianni's mother.


The movie is divided into three parts: the departure, the absence and the return.

Part One: The Departure

The movie starts with Julie walking through the streets of Paris; she went to a movie theater and waited in line to buy tickets. While doing this she called Ismaël on her cell phone; he was at work with Alice, Julie told him that she was tired of watching movies alone and asked him if he was with Alice, he lied and told her that he was alone.

Later that night, Ismaël ran into Julie on his way home, they discussed Julie’s frustrations about their relationship, and when they got to their apartment she locked him outside; he knocked on the door and she let him in, they continued their discussion and, eventually, reconciled. Shortly afterwards Alice knocked on the door and Julie let her in; they all changed their clothes and got into bed together, started reading a different book each, turned off the lights to sleep and fought about each ones place in bed.

The next day Julie and Ismaël were having breakfast with Julie’s family; Ismaël was playing games and Julie got frustrated and left to the kitchen; her older sister, Jeanne, followed her. Julie told Jeanne about Alice and the threesome while their mother listened on the other room; she entered the kitchen and asked Jeanne to leave the room, after Jeanne left she asked Julie about Alice and the role she played in her relationship with Ismaël.

In the night Ismaël, Julie and Alice were eating in a bar, when they left it Julie started complaining about Ismaël's relationship with Alice; Ismaël responded by telling her that he was not the only one that was with Alice, that she was too and that she was the only one he loved, Alice simply told them that she was only there to bring them together.

The three of them went to an Alex Beaupain concert; Ismaël hugged Julie while Alice met a guy named Gwendal; Julie started feeling bad and went to the restroom, she didn’t return soon so Ismaël went to see how she was; she was pale and didn’t feel any better, so they decided to leave. They separated so Julie could get out of the building while Ismaël got their stuff, when Ismaël went outside he realized that Julie was unconscious on the floor while a woman performed CPR to her. A police car and an ambulance arrived, a police officer questioned Ismaël and made him wait in the car while paramedics attended Julie. One of the paramedics talked to the police officer, the officer went back to the car, took his radio and reported Julie’s death.

Part Two: The Absence

Ismaël left his apartment to go to work, on his way he ran into Jeanne, who was going to the apartment to pick some of Julie’s clothes up, they had an argument about why she didn’t tell him first, Ismaël gave her his keys and continued on his way. At work Ismaël told Alice that Jeanne was going to pick up Julie’s clothes and that she could confuse her clothes with Julie’s; Alice didn’t like this and they argued, she ended up telling him that she needed him and they comforted each other.

Since Jeanne was staying in Ismaël’s apartment he didn’t want to spend the night there, so Alice took him to Gwendal’s apartment; he spent the entire night awake. In the morning he met Erwann, Gwendal’s little brother, they talked and joked about Erwann’s school; before leaving for school, Erwann offered his room to Ismaël so he could sleep in his bed. When Erwann returned he realized that Ismaël was still sleeping, he woke up and realized that it was 5 p.m., he was late for work, so he borrowed some clean clothes from Erwann and left.While leaving work Ismaël told Alice the results of Julie’s autopsy, she had died from a cardiac arrest; he stopped a taxi cab so Alice could go home and started walking toward his, he was being secretly followed by Erwann; Ismaël got really scared when he realized someone was following him and annoyed when he saw it was Erwann; Erwann asked Ismaël if he could go home with him and Ismaël rejected him, so he left. Ismaël got to his apartment to see that Jeanne was still there, he was really annoyed by that, they argued and he left again. Ismaël went to Erwann’s apartment and spent the night there again.

In the day, Ismaël had lunch with Julie’s family; her father offered him the money of her life insurance, but he rejected it. That night Ismaël had dinner at the same bar that he used to go to with Julie and Alice; he took Aude, the waitress, to his apartment and had a one night stand with her. They woke up at noon to realize that Jeanne was in the apartment, Ismaël left and Jeanne asked Aude if she was Alice, and was disappointed when the girl answered that she wasn’t.

Ismaël went to work; when he got there he realized that Erwann was waiting for him, they discussed and Ismaël told Erwann that he was flattered by his attention but that he wasn’t interested and didn’t need him. Alice thought that Erwan had been sent by Gwendal to pick up their apartment keys, since the two on them had broken up, she gave him the keys so he could give them to Erwann. Later that night they left work, Alice took a cab and Ismaël realized that Erwann was still waiting for him, he gave him the keys and took them back, they both went to Ismaël’s apartment.

Part Three: The Return

While Alice was still in the taxi cab she received a phone call from Julie’s mother; the two of them met at a restaurant and Julie’s mother asked her to take care of Ismaël because she didn’t want him to be alone. Jasmine (Julie’s other sister) got there and told her mother that her father had woken up and was upset to see that she wasn’t home so late in the night, so she left, leaving Alice and Jasmine alone. The two girls talked for a while and Alice walked Jasmine home.In Ismaël’s apartment he and Erwann made love; this meant a lot to Ismaël, since, singing, he asked Erwan to help him move on and get over Julie’s death. In the morning Jeanne entered the apartment, found them in bed together and left again; Ismaël followed her, Jeanne said that now she understood why he and Julie were in a threesome with Alice and why he didn’t want to have kids, they argued and she called him selfish and self-centered, Ismaël left, leaving her alone.

Erwann went to Ismaël and Alice’s office looking for Ismaël, but he didn’t find him; he, instead talked to Alice, she asked him to tell Gwendal to stop looking for her, he explained to her that Gwendal had not sent him, that he was there for Ismaël. Alice asked Erwann if he and Ismaël were together, and he said that he believed they were.

Jasmine went to the cemetery to visit Julie’s grave, Ismaël was there, she left before he was able to see her; this was the first time Ismaël visited her grave. Julie’s ghost started singing about why it had taken him so long to visit her, that she had waited for so long and had, finally, given up.

After leaving the cemetery Ismaël walked hopelessly through the city, he went to a bar and got drunk; Alice found him that way and took him to Erwann’s apartment. Ismaël told Erwann that he liked the comfort that he had found in his arms, but that he didn’t want Erwann to love him, Erwan told Ismaël that it was ok to look for comfort but that he needed to be loved. The movie ends with Ismaël kissing Erwann and asking him to love him less but for a long time.



*Louis Garrel as Ismaël Bénoliel: Ismaël is the leading character of the movie; he is Julie’s boyfriend and works in a news paper with Alice. After Julie dies he finds comfort in Erwann.
*Ludivine Sagnier as Julie Pommeraye: Julie is Ismaël’s girlfriend, the two of them are in a threesome with Alice, however this makes Julie feel jealous and insecure about their relationship.
*Clotilde Hesme as Alice: Alice is the girl that enters into Ismaël and Julie’s relationship, she also works with Ismaël. Later in the movie she has a short relationship with Gwendal.
*Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet as Erwann: Erwann is a young college student; he is also Gwendal’s brother. He and Ismaël met when Ismaël stayed at his apartment, and their relationship evolved from there.
*Chiara Mastroianni as Jeanne: Jeanne is Julie’s sister. Early in the movie it is revealed that she is having an affair with a married man.


*Brigitte Roüan as Julie's mother
*Jean-Marie Winling as Julie's father
*Alice Butaud as Jasmine
*Yannick Renier as Gwendal
*Esteban Carvajal Alegria as Erwann's friend
*Annabelle Hettman as Aude
*Gaël Morel as the man in the movie theater line (cameo)
*Alex Beaupain as himself

Critical reception

The film received generally positive reviews from critics.

*TV Guide rating|4.5|5 [ link]
*New York Post rating|3|4 [ link]
*Washington Post rating|3.5|5 [ link]
*The New York Times rating|3.5|5 [ link]
*Boston Globe rating|3|4 [ link]
*San Francisco Chronicle rating|3|4 [ link]
*New York Magazine rating|3.5|5 [ link]
*Entertainment Weekly rating|4|5 [,,20185174,00.html link]
* rating|4|5 [ link]
*Rotten Tomatoes rating|3.5|5 [ link]
*Metacritic rating|3.5|5 [ link]

Box office performance

As of March 23, 2008, it has grossed a total of $2,759,302 worldwide — $21,900 in the United States and Canada and $2,737,402 in other territories. [cite web|url= |title=Love Songs (2008) |accessdate=2008-03-24 |publisher=Box Office Mojo]


External links

* [ Official site at]
*imdb title|id=0996605|title=Love Songs
*rotten-tomatoes|id=10009255-love_songs|title=Love Songs
*metacritic film|id=lovesongs|title=Love Songs
*mojo title|id=lovesongs|title=Love Songs
*amg movie|id=1:398830|title=Love Songs

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