Love Me If You Dare (15)

Directed by Yann Samuell, Written by Yann Samuell and Jacky Cukier
Screening at FACT from 8th - 14th October 2004

Reviewed by Adam Ford

Love Me If You Dare (Jeux D'Enfants) is a 93 minute celebration of that crazy little thing called love, capturing the dizzying highs and lows with imaginative direction that is magical, dreamy and enchanting.

As the film begins, Julien (Thibault Verhaeghe) and Sophie (Josephine Lebas-Joly) are two inseparable eight-year-olds, sharing mischievous dares and a private world of fantasy only they understand. As time moves on, the games become more disturbing than playful and the duo (now played by Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard) are separated by circumstances and their own adolescent petulance. But of course I'm not spoiling too much by saying that is not the end of the story...

Cynics may object to certain similarities between Love Me If You Dare and 2001’s Amelie, but this is probably a matter of French cultural outlook and style than mere copying; it is difficult to imagine a British or American-made romantic film having as much spark and joy. Disarmingly charming and subtly funny this is a genuinely life-affirming fairy-tale which must surely melt all but the hardest of hearts.