|Title: Love Me If You Dare (Jeux d’enfants)|
|Genre: Dark comedy|
|Director: Yann Samuell|
|Writer: Yann Samuell|
|Actors: Guillaume Canet, Marion Cotillard|
Close childhood friends, Julian (Guillaume Canet) and Sophie (Marion Cotillard) continuously dare each other to pull pranks in a twisted game of oneupmanship.
Wow, talk about a movie that leaves a lasting impact.
It’s been months since I first watched Love Me If You Dare (Jeux d’enfants) at the Singapore Writers Festival, and I’m still haunted by scenes from the movie.
It is quite easily the most twisted romantic comedy I’ve watched, and I’ve watched quite a few. Love Me If You Dare tells the story of two lifelong best friends, for whom everything revolves around their budding relationship. Sophie’s and Julien’s main method of bonding revolves around a series of alternating dares that progressively escalate.
The dares take precedence over everything, continuing to progress and grow in nature, unlike their relationship. This takes a toll on the friendship, which continues over the years well into college.
Viewers go into a typical romcom set up: boy meets girl, they fall in love, things go bad, they get their happy ending. Yet what Samuell does is to twist the basic plot on its head and show what happens when said protagonists are sociopaths (or truly awful people) with little regard for others outside of the two of them. Again, it’s interesting to see the destructive impact those two have on each other. When left to their own devices away from one another, they manage to behave as normal adults in healthy relationships.
Samuell portrays the development of an abusive relationship in the best, most absurd ways possible. If there’s one thing I truly enjoy, it’s how Samuell highlights the unhealthiness and destructiveness of their relationship by delving from the norm: through a whimsical soundtrack, bold, vivid hues in the cinematography and the truly ridiculous antics the protagonists go through.
One is both charmed by and appalled at the actions of the two protagonists, lent by magnetic performances by both Canet and Cotillard. As twisted as it may sound, and even with recognizing how unhealthy their relationship is, the overall tone of the movie makes it such that one can’t help but to root for the Julien and Sophie to get together.
It’s easy to see why the movie is a classic.