Love, at worse, you may end up considering the best porn you have ever seen. However, at best, Love presents unfiltered passion, sex, intimacy, affection, and all that encompasses being in love with someone and f—ing it all up.
Trigger Warning(s): Full-On Sex Scenes (Includes Karl Glusman Ejaculating)
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Both Murphy (Karl Glusman) and Electra (Aomi Muyock) are artists. Murphy of the film visual media variety, and Electra of the canvas. Together they make both a couple you envy, and the type of couple you fear of becoming. Murphy is someone whose sex drive is matched by Electra, and she welcomes experimenting and exploring. However, there comes a point where lack of communication becomes an issue and with one mistake, it seems to be all over. Leaving you, as the viewer, wondering if after all the lovemaking, all the intimacy, and visually seeing how hard it is for either one to truly let go of the other, will it end in tragedy or with forgiveness?
- Despite how graphic and long the sex scenes are in the film, I do believe it employs them better than most of the films I have ever seen. Love doesn’t treat sex strictly as a cumulating event to mark a climax or a milestone. No, sex is a part of being human for Love and a part of being in a relationship. Just as much as us seeing Murphy and Electra hold hands, have conversations about their children’s names, and talk about film and art, sex is presented as something normal and expected.
- With that said, and excuse me if this sounds pervy, but the sex scenes in this film are better than any porn I have ever seen. Be it because there genuinely seems to be something between Glusman and Muyock, or because they are talented actors. Either way, I found myself either with my jaw dropped or with my eyes wide open.
- Between the music and ambiance, I feel like I cheated myself by not seeing this film in theaters. Imagine hearing the guitar songs, like “Maggot Brain” from surround sound speakers, sitting in a dark environment, and being forced to focus on all that director/ writer Gaspar Noé wanted you to experience. That would honestly be sensory overload in the best way.
- Speaking specifically about the story and characters, and setting the sex aside, I truly did enjoy the characters and story for what was presented. I feel like Electra we got to know in such a way which is rare in cinema. We got to know her passions, her fears, and even learned of the relationships she had in the past and about the relationship she has with her parents. Making her feel very well rounded and it helped the audience understand why she made the decisions she did when it comes to her relationship with Murphy. Then, when it comes to Murphy, I must admit that while the most we learn is that he is an American in Paris for film school, Glusman makes him someone hard to take your eyes off of simply due to him handling both being lovable and a bastard. I mean, at the start of the film, I’m glad Electra is dodging him and seemingly wants nothing from him, but then I see them together. With that, I fall in love with them as a couple, and him in extension, and want to see more of them. To the point, even after watching the movie, I wonder why he decided to do what he did with Omi (Klara Kristin), who he has a threesome with alongside Electra, and am still highly frustrated by that decision.
- Honestly, the main issue I have with this film is that it never becomes clear why Murphy went to Paris, much less stayed. Granted, his ex-girlfriend inspired such ideas, but being that she seemed unsure, and likely never went with him, it made me very unsure what pushed him to go and stick around. For while going to film school is the reason most can point to, there is no sign saying this is true. That is, as opposed to Electra who we see paint, as well as briefly see her around her peers from college.
- Being that Omi mentions her age as either being 17, or perhaps soon to be 17, it did lead me to wonder how old were Murphy and Electra? We do know they are both in college, so their early 20s at most, and with that, it creates an uncomfortable scene with them seemingly taking advantage of a girl. One that has no family and is living by herself.
On The Fence
I should note, when it comes to the sex scenes, it doesn’t make you feel like a voyeur, as Blue is the Warmest Color did. For while Electra and Murphy are passionate about each other, and we see such things like Glusman cumming a few times, there remains this disconnect. Not to the point of Larry Clark films, in which it seems the scene is being done to shock or because the production can get away with it, but somewhere in between. It is loving, yet seemingly about tantalizing; it matters, the sex scenes, yet the film could have been just as good without the half a dozen sex scenes.
Overall: Worth Seeing
Perhaps the only issue this film has, from a personal standpoint, is that there are times when Murphy seems simply like the person with a penis. Interchangeable, and perhaps lost amongst the sex of the film. Which, for the general public, could become the main issue. For, as noted in the overview, there are times when you may be left wondering when the plot will continue and the sex will end.
However, if you can get past the raw sex, what you are left with is a sort of odd, but often cute love story. One filled with passion, intimacy, and lust, and the unfortunate dumb moves, primarily from the male lead, which seemingly ruin everything. To the point, you get upset with him because you were so in love with the expression of his and Electra’s love.
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