6 02 2016

LoveWith an all-encompassing title like “Love,” one could expect Gaspar Noe to probe many different forms of love. The provocateur does explore many types of sex, but they all come back to one specific kind of a love – if one even wants to call it that. The film is little more than a collection of straight white American male fantasies, like an artful cobbling together of pornographic myths that dispenses with their artifice but maintains most of their misogyny.

“Love” follows the sexcapades of Karl Glusman’s Murphy, an American wannabe filmmaker living in Paris – presumptively because of the more libertine sexual attitudes. He loves fetishizing the openness of European women to meet all his carnal desire, be they in a three-way or at a public orgy. Noe frames most of Murphy’s debauchery in elegiac flashbacks to his penetrative glory days; not unlike “The Tree of Life,” he yearns for a paradise lost.

Murphy’s current misery is that he is unwittingly trapped in fatherhood after a broken condom during casual sex. Of course, it’s not with the woman he truly desires. Murphy happily embraces sex when it stimulates him but bemoans the act when it produces what is designed to do: produce a child. This shift in his view of sex also indicates a change in the way he sees women. They are wonderful when they only have to worry about being pleasure-makers but are nagging, cruel shrews once their focus shifts to their offspring.

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