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also known as Le nom des gens

The Names of Love2010

  • 4.0
Baya Benmahmoud, a young, extroverted liberal, lives by the old hippie slogan: "Make love, not war" to convert right-wing men to her left-wing political causes by sleeping with them. She seduces many and so far has received exceptional results (until she meets Arthur Martin, a Jewish middle aged, middle-of-the road scientist). Bound by common tragic family histories (the Algerian War and Holocaust under Vichy), the duo improbably falls in love. Amid the bubbly amour, humorous lasciviousness and moments of sheer madness, filmmaker Michel Leclerc injects satirical riffs on such hot-button sociopolitical issues as Arab-Jewish relations, anti-Semitism, immigration and racial and cultural identity.

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5 members like this review

This movie is work of art, thanks in part to the script but also to the cast and acting and directing. It is so weird, so unlikely, but I found it enchanting and believable.

A liberal most my life, yet the film had me musing about those years I had been so conservative. And perhaps my marriage performed some furtive surgery behind the scenes. I had forgotten. Baya seduced me too. That tiny energetic warrior, that pure yet innocent witch wove her spell and I remain a convert to her charms. Somehow this film touched me more than any other I can remember over the past three years. Give it a chance. You may become converted.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (13)

2e96eff8174b408fe68458c53c86b24b?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0025
top reviewer

This movie is work of art, thanks in part to the script but also to the cast and acting and directing. It is so weird, so unlikely, but I found it enchanting and believable.

A liberal most my life, yet the film had me musing about those years I had been so conservative. And perhaps my marriage performed some furtive surgery behind the scenes. I had forgotten. Baya seduced me too. That tiny energetic warrior, that pure yet innocent witch wove her spell and I remain a convert to her charms. Somehow this film touched me more than any other I can remember over the past three years. Give it a chance. You may become converted.

5 members like this review
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top reviewer

I had never met a screwball romantic comedy that I liked before this one. In fact, I would rather pass a kidney stone than suffer through anything starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Doris Day is still with us at 94 and probably is and always was a nice person when she was not playing virgins. This movie could have been and perhaps was written by faithfully following the standard Hollywood recipe that made Doris Day very popular and still results in a very popular movie often enough when followed to keep examples of the genre coming. I have at least as strong a prejudice against this genre as the typical National Front voter has against Arabs. But, I trust Fandor enough to give every newly added film 15 minutes to become interesting. I gave this one five stars not because it is the best film I ever saw, but because it took outright genius to make a screwball romantic comedy that I would enjoy. This feat is only slightly less impressive than making a porno flick that the Vatican would formally recommend to the faithful.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Cute and quirky this well acted comedy is poignant in it's delivery and in it's artistic nature totally French. Baya is as cute as a bug's ear and be forewarned, she will steal your heart!

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top reviewer

This is a tasty French confection that has a fine aperitif. Ms Forestier certainly deserved the Cesar for this. She is so incredibly charming, endearing, believable, naive, and yet sincere. I thought the story is wonderfully ridiculous and the writing very creative. There is such a diverse set of characters but it works wonderfully.

It forces us to reject our stereotypes, and in the end, as our heroine says we can't change people until we love them. Everyone will enjoy this movie. It is so delightfully unpredictable, what is not to love?

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top reviewer

I missed some references in the movie because I am not up on French politics. But all in all, it was a fun film.

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top reviewer

4.5_loved the 1st half then it got a bit annoying & dumb_i definitely love Baya she's just wonderful & i'm not right wing or a fascist_but as silly as this is she is just a joy

Funny and liberating.

A lot of fun if one is in the mood for deep belly-laughs, thanks mostly to the subversively screwball heroine; emulating 'Amelie' in its opening moments as it played with the sharing of names between strangers, mature and politically-incorrect, it's a marvelous rom-com that knows how far it can go with potentially sensitive subject-matter. It also seemed to laugh a little at the sometimes self-important French.

a few seconds ago

Touched on a lot of relevant topics in a feel-good way, the comedy was great, the characters were well rounded, the dialogue interesting. I felt the romance was missing a bit, but the two main character make for an interesting, dynamic duo. Everyone felt believable and the topics presented were dealt with in such a great way; where different perspectives were offered from each character to balance others. Quite a ride.

Delightful indeed, perhaps because we all know or have been blessed to know someone with this spirit one time or another in our lives and it resonated something within us. Subtle or soft comedy weaved within a nice story always suits me.

A delightful combination of joie de vivre exuberance and light hearted critique of social mores - the film does what Baya does, using fun and sexuality to sneak in a bit of a challenge to assumptions about how things should be.

The movie is charming, provocative and entertaining. The characters are endearingly alive with frailty and flaws. The plot is rich with nuance and colliding relationships. The social commentary is potent while never boiling over. The only shortcomings seem to fault editing, a bumpy transition to the joyful resolve. Otherwise a delicious hour and three-quarters.

A true delight of a film.