‘Love’: positively pretentious pornography


Three minutes into Gaspar Noe’s “Love” I shouted, “either cum or change scenes” at the screen.

“Love” attempts to tell the story of Murphy (Karl Gluspan), a man living in an unhappy marriage with one child. Most of the movie is spent in flashbacks as Murphy remembers the night he cheated on his hardcore punk girlfriend only for the condom to break.

From then on, the movie keeps a staccato pace between the present and the various drug-fueled sex romps of his past.

Style is the keyword of this film, as the director seems to favor that over anything else. If Wes Anderson went into porn, it’d look quite a bit like this.

All sex in the movie is genuine, so much so the opening of the movie cannot wait to express this fact. Any film that actually shows actors gettin’ jiggy becomes obsessed with how far they can push it.

“Nine Songs” had an actor ejaculate onto a woman’s stomach. “Shortbus” made baby-batter impressionist art. “Love” opens up with Murphy letting loose into Electra’s mouth. Well, that seems to be the intention, but in practice it seems little Karl was gun-shy.

He makes up for it later in the film with an eight-second long shot of his penis ejaculating directly at the camera, with all the grunting and wet squishing noises that come along with such an act.

Shoving the sex and edginess off the bed (including an incredibly ham-fisted scene in which Murphy brilliantly defends the pro-choice perspective with the line “You’re against abortion, but you still eat meat?”), there are some components of a memorable film buried within “Love.”

It’s obvious Gaspar Noe is heavily influenced by directors like Stanley Kubrick as many shots in “Love” have beautiful compositions with incredibly saturated colors. It’s a shame the plot is as paper-thin as it is pretentious.

Also, special shoutout to whoever did the sound mix. I feel for whoever had to drive to work every day just to recreate the sounds of an eight-minute threesome using only breathing, kissing and the sound of linen rubbing.

In the end, “Love” is possibly fun to watch at a particularly open-minded bad movie night. Just avoid the wet spot afterwards.

1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5)