Flick Of The Week: The Names of Love

A sweet and charming French romantic comedy with a few serious ideas below its glossy/sexy surface, The Names of Love deftly contrasts the lives of Arthur (Jacques Gamblin), a Jew, and Baya (Sara Forestier), an Arab, in contemporary Paris. Both characters alternately recount their parents’ marriage, family taboos, and sexual histories to indicate how well matched they are for each other. She sleeps with political enemies to convert them. He has little luck with women—one epic fail involves trying to gain sympathy from women (i.e., get laid) by mentioning the Holocaust. Who Arthur and Baya are—and where they came from—provide the key to their characters; they “embody France.” But despite their different backgrounds and approaches to life—he’s shy and modest, she’s completely uninhibited—when they connect it’s magical. Arthur admires Baya’s carefree nature—as when she absent-mindedly strolls nude through the streets of Paris. She respects his good-natured qualities, as when he tricks her father into following his passion. The Names of Love is a quirky romance about nationality, sexuality and politics, but it’s never dull or didactic. Forestier’s sexual energy is infectious, and it’s her enthusiastic performance that makes this film so highly satisfying.

Conan the Barbarian Jason Momoa takes on the title role in this remake of the 1980s classic.

Fright Night Colin Farrell stars as the “vampire next door” in this remake of the 1980s classic.

Magic Trip A documentary about Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and his search for enlightenment in the Sixties.

One Day Anne Hathaway (doing a British accent) and Jim Sturgess play a couple whose relationship spans 20 years in this adaptation of David Nicholls’ novel directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education).

Senna A documentary on Brazilian racecar driver Ayrton Senna, and his brief time in the spotlight.

Spy Kids: All the Time In the World The latest installment in the popular series. But isn’t it time to call them Spy Teens, or are the Spy Adults now?

The Whistleblower Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz stars in this drama about a woman who discovers a sex trafficking scandal in Bosnia.

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Gary Kramer

Gary M. Kramer is a Philadelphia-based film critic who thinks Sandra Bullock mambos. He likes eating ethnic food and watching ethnic movies—though not necessarily both at the same time or from the same country.

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