An Affair Of Love

"Good"

An Affair Of Love Review


A brief but compelling two-character drama about a purely sexual relationship that unwittingly evolves into something more, "An Affair of Love" (titled "A Pornographic Affair" in its less fastidious native France) consists of probing post-breakup interviews with its nameless lovers (Nathalie Baye and Sergi Lopez) and flashbacks of the events surrounding their weekly hotel room romps.

The lovers -- she a lithe beauty in her late 30s showing her first signs of aging, he a slightly younger yuppie -- meet behind closed doors and never reveal exactly what they do in there, but it's implied they share some freaky fetish their real-life loves couldn't cope with.

But you wouldn't know it to look at them having coffee in a local cafe before each Thursday's tryst. They stare in each other's eyes and laugh nervously. She twist her hair on an index finger. They seem to find plenty to talk about even though they have a pact to never speak of their outside lives. We know they're falling in love before they do.

Yet we also know from the very beginning that they have since gone their separate ways. In the interview segments (which are not explained, just accepted as the part of the narrative structure), each of them has very fond remembrances but different recollections of events. Both seem to regret that their kinship ended, but she seems to have taken it harder, having made a drastic change to her personal style in an apparent attempt to recapture her youth. He, in contrast, seems more confident and vigorous in the wake of the affair.

But at first both he and she both seem a little dull. They're so indifferent to each other in their early scenes together that I wondered if the film might put me to sleep.

Within 10 minutes of that thought I was irrevocably engrossed by the deeply personal nature of this quietly exceptional film.

As the sex rendezvous turn into lingering coffee dates and then into longing hearts, the couple begin to share more of themselves than just their mutual carnal compulsion. "What if," he asks delicately, "we could have a drink? Talk a little? I'll take you to dinner."

"What if..." becomes their code for wanting to build something stronger between them.

"What if," she soon asks as if it were something taboo, "we made love...normally."

"That was what ruined it," he later recalls. "It was too nice."

Directed by Frédéric Fonteyne and written by his long-time collaborator Philippe Blasband (together they made 1997's "Max and Bobo"), "Affair" is a simple, refined and absorbing form of polite voyeurism. Fonteyne captures every nuance of body language and emotion. He also captures the elegant electricity of Paris in winter with beautiful photography that becomes less fluid and more kinetic as the two lovers become more confused about their feelings.

When a single outside event reminds them both of the complexities of real-world relationships, it forces them to address the direction of their affair, leading to a misunderstanding that leaves them both laden with regret.

Fonteyne deftly captivates the audience with these characters without ever revealing anything about who they really are. We know their hearts, but not their lives, and it's fascinating.



An Affair Of Love

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 4th September 1999

Distributed by: Fine Line Features

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Frederic Fonteyne

Starring: as Her, as Him

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.