Friday, September 10, 2010

Water Drops on Burning Rocks, French comedy with a rather cynical view of love

Water Drops on Burning Rocks (1999)
Jamal's Rating: 2 stars
Netflix Average Rating: 2.6 stars

French film about an older man who seduces a boy and, when their relationship becomes embittered, a tangled web of women who come back from their past. There are only four characters in the entire film, no extras, and only one setting; at it's best the film feels like a tightly staged drama, but it's hard to escape the sense of claustrophobia. Ludivine Sagnier arrives some point after midway, is refreshingly perky and gets naked a lot, but her development with the two men is unsatisfying and rushed. I began to wonder during the final chapter if the screenplay were written in reverse; all of these characters must have sex with each other, so the challenge is simply finding a superficial way of "hooking up". The dialogue can be engaging at times, such as the early scenes that boil with tension between the two leads, but often the comedy is a flat running joke where one character asks "why" and the other says "why not?". Having spent 82 minutes with these cardboard characters, I left feeling empty about hope and love. Two stars.

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