Le Syndrome des Amours Passées, the review – Cannes 76
It is not among the films that will compete for the victory of the 62nd Semaine de la Critique del Cannes Film Festival 2023, but who knows if The Syndrome des Amours Passées it couldn’t have won the award for Most Incredible and Funniest Romantic Comedy. The second film of Ann Sirot And Raphaël Balbonichosen as Special Screening of this edition, will soon also be in Italy (distributed by Wanted Cinema) after having cheered up the days of the public on the Croisette and offered – perhaps useful, perhaps dangerous – new ideas to the many couples trying to have a baby.
“I’m curious to see how the title will be translated in Italy – says Sirot, then going on to talk about their first work The crazy life, distributed by Wanted from 29 June – In the original it is Une vie démente, but the distributor advised us against using the term ‘demented’. Often the literal translation is not the most suitable, on the other hand, and you really need to know the local culture to find the best title. Using Syndrome wasn’t the best thing, and in the end we chose this one also for the assonance with The sweet life“.
The (EX)perience of Love by Remy and Sandra
This is the goal of Rémy and Sandra (Lazare Gousseau and Lucie Debay), husband and wife on their way to forty and with the dream of being parents. An outcome that is by no means obvious, as many know, which often passes through a process of endless medical examinations and consultations. Yet it is precisely the doctor who is following their case who gives them unexpected hope, a solution, which however passes from a surreal blast from the past, not only sentimental, of the two.
In order to recover from the Syndrome of past loves, in fact, Rémy and Sandra will be forced to retrace their sexual life, stage by stage, returning to make love with every single ex (or not) with whom they have had physical relations. An unprecedented journey with an uncertain result, of which the two are convinced, supporting each other, despite the planned ‘appointments’ being very different in numbers and genres. A problem?
Anyone who wants a child (doesn’t) insist…
As in their previous film – soon to be released, as mentioned – here too we find the irony and humor with which the two directors demonstrate their ability to tackle delicate, even painful issues. Again taking advantage of the family context of a young couple forced to face trials that risk changing a lot of their lives and their relationships, and – in this case – taking advantage of a premise that goes beyond the canons of the sentimental comedy genre to the point of touching the fantastic genre.
Each of us is different from the others, capable of legitimately and freely deciding about our life and our choices, but we doubt that there would be many couples ready to share a “experience” (as the international title of the film defines it) as the one that offers the excuse and acts as the backbone for an exploration of love in its most diverse forms and declinations, without any limits.
The decision to question heteronormativity (the belief that heterosexuality is the only possible orientation) and the habit of sexual exclusivity is declared by the two directors, who primarily play with the codes of the genre and with viewer. Tested by explorations for adults, animal parties and games of all sorts or invited to reflect on the lack of poetry in modern life and on the value of science and trust in medicine. But above all rewarded with the unusual and colorful interludes that break a fairly conventional narrative and mark the progress of the countdown, saving us a disproportionate number of sex scenes that risked being boring and repetitive and counterbalancing an ending that was perhaps a little too predictable.