Love Me If You Dare
May 19, 2004
On the Big Board
||It's hard to pull of a romantic comedy when neither lead is likeable
A film that surely hopes to follow in the footsteps of the popular Amélie, Love Me If You Dare is the English name of the French comedy Jeux d’enfants (which translates to English as Child’s Play). It’s the debut film of French animator Yann Samuell, and looks at the notion of love from just a slightly different point of view.
Only child Julien, whose mother is gravely ill, makes friends with his Polish classmate Sophie when she is being mercilessly tormented by some classmates. To assuage her pain somewhat, he gives her a tin box in the design of a merry-go-round. This box will become a symbol for their obsession with one another that reappears throughout their lives. The pair has an ongoing game of “dare” that is always set up by the deposit of a challenge in the box. No matter how embarrassing or perilous the dare, the youngsters are always up for it.
Fast forward several years down the line and Julien and Sophie are all grown up. The connection between the friends continues, because the game has never, ever stopped. They continue to torture each other with increasingly over-the-top challenges, and though they are seemingly deeply in love, the game takes top priority.
Thus far, reviews that have hit the press since the film’s premiere at the Toronto Film Festival have been somewhat mixed. While the artfulness and direction have been praised, the story itself has been criticized as simply too creepy. The same could have been said for 2003’s French import He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, so it appears that the appeal in Love Me If You Dare will largely depend on how dark one’s sense of humor is. (Kim Hollis/BOP)