EW Staff
August 09, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

An Affair of Love

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
80 minutes
performer
Nathalie Baye, Sergi Lopez
director
Frederic Fonteyne
author
Philippe Blasband
genre
Romance, Erotic, Foreign Language

We gave it an A-

The original french title was more provocative: ”Une Liaison Pornographique.” But An Affair of Love is just as appropriate a title for this disconcertingly intimate recounting of the relationship between a nameless man (López from ”Western”) and woman (”The Return of Martin Guerre”’s Baye). The two enter a hotel room as strangers on an anonymous sexual adventure, but they exit as lovers who have misread each other tragically and pathetically.

Now, this being a quintessentially French film (even if director Frédéric Fonteyne is Belgian born and López is Spanish), monsieur and madame talk and analyze an awful lot — even during the film’s most erotic scene. But at least the talk isn’t cheap: By alternating what He says to an unseen interviewer with what She says and what the neutral camera shows, Fonteyne edges closer than most to capturing the mysterious rhythms of liaisons — pornographique, romantique, and otherwise.

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