(2017, 95 min)
Director: Laurent Micheli
Studio: TLA Releasing
Language: French w/subtitles
Parties and love affairs lead to heart searching, deep desires and a craving to live life to the fullest as a group of good friends come to terms with the unexpected death of beloved group member, Hugo. Ana, Hugo's partner, attempts to overcome her loss by going to sex clubs, while Hugo's brother, Arthur finds comfort in Grindr hook-ups.
One night Arthur begins an affair with sexy Graciano, who has yet to come to terms with his bisexuality, adding fuel to an already raging fire. Even Lovers Get the Blues is an explicit portrait of the love and the fluid sexual lives of disenchanted and passionate young people
In "Even Lovers Get The Blues", we get a look at love and sexual lives of disenchanted and passionate young people. "Ana ising with Hugo, Dalhia with Graciano, Léo with Louis, and Arthur with everyone". Our characters are searching, have deep desires and want to live life to the fullest.
One night, Hugo doesn't wake up, and Anna begins to mourn him by reconnecting with his body, abusing it, listening to it, ignoring it and, finally, freeing it. All of the characters cross paths in the randomness of the Brussels night and then again in the countryside. The story begins in the cold of winter and at night Brussels and with the coming of spring it moves to a rural lakeside and finally in the summer to secret gardens in Brussels. Our characters look for love and think they find it by having sex in a bathroom at a bar toilet, in the alcoves of a nightclub, on a sofa bed and at a deserted beach. Their paths cross and uncross, couples are made and unmade, experimenting with an ever-evolving sexuality, searching for the kind of thrills that make them feel alive. Director Laurent Micheli chronicles his generation's unease, which, in an insecure society, is trying, in its own modest way, to reinvent sex and love.
We see candid sex scenes that are far removed from the codified and sanitized norms of the era. But far from being the object of pure provocation, This sexual freedom that is portrayed explicitly on the screen represents the director's own thoughts about freedom and while this freedom is often awkward, it is presented in a fresh film about the quest to find it.
The cast members are actually people who live with the conviction and frivolity of the characters that they play. They are 30-something-year-old friends who all seem to have insatiable sex lives that don't seem to make them happy at all. We first meet them in their respective apartments after having engaged in very passionate and noisy sex.
As Ana showers, Hugo has a seizure and dies in their bed. His death seems to affect them all in different ways. A distraught Ana tries to banish her grief by literally having anonymous sex with total strangers, whilst Louis tries to cajole Léo into wanting to have a baby. Meanwhile Graciano who has been having trouble getting aroused takes matters into his own hand to add some spice into his love making with Dahlia, who then ruins the attempt by talking too much. However he finds the answer to his problems unexpectedly when the whole group had been out partying and he and Arthur become sexually involved.
We move forward four months to the summer and the group decides to take a weekend trip and go camping by a lake in the countryside. By this time Léo and Louis are no longer living together, Arthur has been crashing the whole time on the couch in Graciano and Dahlia's apartment, and Ana is stilling around. With tensions running high among them all, they wonder if sex will ever be fun again.
The group of friends is totally dysfunctional and this adds to their charm even with the hand-wringing and verbal soul-searching at times. Their relationships are based in both love and respect and they obviously feel they are worth the effort to see if their natural destiny for each one of them is to move forward or end now. Each character bares his/her their soul in the same and does not shy away from showing their very explicit love making. The ensemble cast, several with little or no acting experience, gives some beautiful performances making this compelling angst-filled drama so very entertaining. "Even Lovers Get The Blues" is a refreshing take on modern romance and how we deal with sex and sexuality today and is a film that should not be missed.
-- Review by Amos Lassen (www.reviewsbyamoslassen.com)