Spinning a film around a deeply unsympathetic character is a risky prospect, but that doesn’t seem to have worried Reinout Oerlemans, the Dutch director of this monumentally tasteless ode to self-gratification and single-mindedness. His ‘hero’ is Stijn (Barry Atsma), a playboy advertising exec in Holland whose life falls into place when he meets and marries Carmen (a wasted Carice van Houten). Not that marriage stops him sleeping around – even his wife’s battle with cancer can’t put the brakes on Stijn’s runaway libido. All of which would be fine if Oerlemans intended ‘Love Life’ to be a satirical portrait of a repellent creep, but it’s impossible to shake the feeling that he wants us to like Stijn, or at least sympathise with him. And as the film crawls agonisingly towards its overblown conclusion, as Oerlemans piles on the maudlin strings and mournful sax, as Atsma pouts and Van Houten emotes, it becomes increasingly evident that ‘Love Life’ is a misjudgement of spectacular proportions.
Cast and crew
|Cast:||Carice van Houten