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Freaks Like Them

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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
Directed by Laetitia Colombani
Written by Colombani and Caroline Thivel
Samuel Goldwyn
Opens February 14
The grueling endurance test of your given romantic comedy boils down to a keening Seinfeldian cry: Who are these people?! These smug sociopathic lotharios, these screeching anorexic maenads, these morbid entitlement complexes made gym-taut flesh, these tantrum-throwing, altar-abandoning, sex-withholding, humongous-apartment-owning freaks? And lovestruck gamines don't come any freakier than Amélie, so the sight of Audrey Tautou's dementedly enigmatic smile glaring out from a bed of roses at the start of a film called He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not bodes very ill indeed. Up to a point, Audrey's monomaniacal stalking of her cardiologist prey (Samuel Le Bihan) would be de rigueur in a studio heartwarmer, but then Laetitia Colombani's candy-colored stunt (co-written with Caroline Thivel) rewinds itself and starts over from a much cloudier angle. Baggy and overbroad, He Loves Me is notable only as a corrective to cinema's promiscuity with fabulous destinies, but that's enough to hold any rom-com casualty's grateful attention.
 
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