LES AMOURS IMAGINAIRES
Canada, 2010, 105 minutes, Colour.
Monia Chokri, Niels Schneider, Xavier Dolan.
Directed by Xavier Dolan.
'In Your Dreams!’ That is where most of the action of this 20-somethings’ romantic comedy takes place. Not in their literal dreams, but in their unfulfilled wish fulfilments.
Very much a young adults’ film with older audiences admiring the writer-director’s zest but finding the two central characters in their search for love and their being lost in their fantasies more than a bit trying.
A 25 year old woman and her gay friend, Francis (Xavier Dolan himself) become infatuated with a young man who is filmed as if he were a statue of a Greek god. He befriends them but not in the way that they hope of imagine and they keep projecting the wish fulfilment on to him. Though friends, they do their bit to edge out each other from the pursuit.
A lot of partying, a lot of soulful introspection, on the road to disillusionment.
1. The work of a young man, twenty-one years old, directing, editing, costume design, acting? His own life experience – and dramatising themes of choices, relationships, hopes, fantasies?
2. Canada, city life, the countryside, the young way of life, clubs, partying, work?
3. The range of music, the musical score?
4. The title, fantasies and imaginary love for Marie and for Frank?
5. Themes of sexual identity, the search, in relationships, in friendship, in the imagination?
6. Frank and Marie, their work together, seeing Nicolas? As a vision (in the Michelangelo vein)? Their interpretation? Nicolas and his being filmed in a glow?
7. Nicolas as an image, an icon, real, unreal? The couple and their gifts to him, his receiving them, their time together, dancing, in the bed, sexual and asexual? Nicolas’s job, his presence in the city, absences, his range of friends?
8. The visit to the country, Frank with Nicolas, Marie with Nicolas, their hopes, imagination and behaviour?
9. Nicolas leaving, the clash between Frank and Marie, each of them writing to Nicolas, Marie sending the poem and explaining that it was for someone else? Their justifications – and their not being requited?
10. Nicolas’s return, ordinary, the fantasies and disillusionment – and the dashing of their hopes?
11. The appearance of a new man – new image, new fantasies?
12. The impact of the talking heads throughout the film and their contributions to reflection about love and relationships?