The Austin Chronicle

Love After Love

Not rated, 104 min. Directed by Diane Kurys. Starring Isabelle Huppert, Bernard Giraudeau, Hippolyte Girardot, Lio, Yvan Attal, Judith Reval.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Nov. 25, 1994

In her early films like Peppermint Soda and Entre Nous, French filmmaker Diane Kurys gravitated toward stories about female friendships and coming of age issues. In her current film, Love After Love, Kurys' characters are in their mid-thirties and trying to reconcile the beliefs they acquired during their formative years with the attitudes and lifestyles of the Nineties. Okay, that's the polite way of describing the actions in this movie. Another way of stating it is that Love After Love concerns a year in the lives of a bunch of well-off, non-monogamous French types. It stars the always lovely yet often inscrutable Isabelle Huppert as a successful novelist named Lola whose live-in love of many years, an architect named David (Giraudeau), also maintains a residence and responsibility for two children with another woman. Lola herself is having an affair with a musician who is also married to someone else. Other characters and their infidelities wander in and out of the story but that's the gist of it, as far as I can see. Lola and David are products of a different decade, one that didn't need marriage certificates and monogamy to prove their love. Yet, for all their attempts at openness and honesty, they become caught in webs of lies and deceit when trying to protect the neglected “other” and prove themselves no different than the upholders of monogamy. These characters generate very little enthusiasm or zest for their activities and, thus, the viewer is also lulled into ennui.

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