Plot: What’s it about?
When she (Nathalie Baye) decided she wanted to enhance her sex life, she placed an ad in a newspaper and waited to hear from some volunteers. Of course, she seeks to have an affair with someone who answers the ad, but she is unsure of how it will turn out. But when he (Sergi Lopez) discovers her ad and replies, it is the start of a passionate, but sometimes confusing relationship. The story of their meeting, their love affair, and their inner feelings is explored through an interviewer, as the two recollect their thoughts and feelings on the situation. After he answers the ad and the two converse via the internet for a time, they finally meet at a Paris cafe and soon enough, they fulfill their intentions inside a hotel room. It seems that the circumstances worked well for them both, as they decide to continue their activities on a regular basis, which leads to some pleasures and over time, some problems. So when this affair continues on and she decides to offer something new, what will come of this most unusual relationship.
I have no problem with a good romance movie, but sometimes, these things can turn into pure boredom. Now this film doesn’t end up on that path, but it never manages to be that good either, which leaves it somewhere in the middle of the road in the end. The basic premise is a good one and the film has some nice visuals, but the storyline never evolves that much and when it does, it is not for the better. In fact, this movie seems like so many other European romance flicks at times, it was hard not to think of the others, which distracted me from this movie somewhat. So there isn’t much in terms of original content here, but if you like this kind of cinema, then I suppose that isn’t all that bad. I was pleased with how the filmmakers dealt with sex, only showing sexual scenes when needed, as opposed to using nudity to attract viewers. So when I say this is a romance film, I mean romance and not constant nudity and sex, so keep that in mind. In the end, this film is worth a look for those who love romance cinema, but I think a rental will be enough in most cases.
I guess I am just not up to date as far as French cinema, as I knew none of the performers here and even the director’s name didn’t ring any bells with me. I admit though, my tastes run in a different vein than French romance films, so perhaps that is why I’ve never heard of most of these people. I think director FrΘdΘric Fonteyne (The Seven Deadly Sins) does a pretty good job here, although he never really delves into things much in the end. I found this movie to be more than a little pretentious at times, so I think Fonteyne could have added some substance here and there, to even things out somewhat. Still, he is able to inject some terrific visuals and keep things at a decent pace, so I can’t fault him too much. I also thought the cast was pretty good, though a little weak at times, but then again, I’m not the best judge of French acting, now am I? The cast includes such performers as Paul Pavel (Stolen Kisses, Clockwork Terror), Sergi Lopez (The New Eve, Antonio’s Girlfriend), Jacques Viala (The Three Best Things In Life), and Nathalie Baye (Venus Beauty Institute, Strange Affair).
Video: How does it look?
An Affair Of Love is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. As is usually the case with New Line, this is an excellent transfer and no real problems are present. The source print used is pristine, I saw no grain or debris in the last and as far as compression errors, I didn’t even see a trace of flaws. The colors range from a natural scope to richer hues, whichever the visuals need at that time, with minimal troubles in the process. I didn’t see any bleeds or such, while the flesh tones were warm and consistent also. No complaints with the contrast either, black levels are sharp and no detail loss is evident. Another superb transfer from New Line, who continues to impress the DVD world. This dual layered disc also includes a full frame transfer, in case that better suits your viewing preferences.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but this film doesn’t require much in terms of intense audio, so you won’t notice the surrounds too much. I was impressed with the musical score, which makes good of the surrounds, but aside from that, little range is needed or shown in this mix. The central element here is the dialogue, which comes off in crisp form and shows no problems at all. Of course, I don’t speak much French, but I can tell when vocals are sharp or not, so no worries. You’ll also find a 2.0 surround track, also in French, as well as burnt in English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files and the film’s theatrical trailer.