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It’s nice that there’s at least one contemporary young French actress who’s popular enough to get a film opened in the United States, even if it’s not Jeanne Balibar, Virginie Ledoyen, or Nathalie Richard, all of whom have had more interesting careers than Audrey Tautou. The star of Amélie, after all, seems to play nothing but variations on her best-known role: a daffy, love-struck gamin with grandiose ideas about shaping other people’s lives. In director and co-writer Laetitia Colombani’s He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, a genteelly perverse romantic comedy, Tautou is Angélique, a bicycle-riding Bordeaux art student who’s madly in love with a married cardiologist. Angélique’s friends David (who of
course adores her) and Héloïse tell her that Loïc
(Brotherhood of the Wolf star Samuel Le Bihan) will never leave his pregnant wife, Rachel (Isabelle Carré), but Angélique insists that their love (and her plans) will surmount all obstacles. Watching the events from Angélique’s point of view, we see Rachel stalk out, as well as the preparations for the lovers’ romantic getaway to Florence. Yet something is clearly wrong, even before Loïc and Angélique’s relationship appears to unraveland the director hits the Rewind button. The second time around, we see the events from Loïc’s perspective, which is more than a little different. The alternate version is a welcome corrective to the first one’s amour fou, but that doesn’t prevent it from being a little tiresome. Revisiting previous scenes to observe what we didn’t see the first time soon loses its novelty. There are some shocks, but also a lot of shrugs, and the final twist, though cute, is not fabulous enough to compensate for having dawdled too long with Colombani’s anti-Amélie. Mark Jenkins