Director Antony Cordier’s Four Lovers is a film that travels far beyond the borders of most comfort zones. When Rachel (Marina Foïs) brings home new friends Vincent (Nicolas Duvauchelle) and his wife Teri (Élodie Bouchez) to have dinner with her and husband Franck (Roschdy Zem), there is distinct chemistry among the four.
Forget about the nagging whys and hows of the situation: This film skips the entire setup and goes directly for the guts. Of course these two couples will swap partners, and of course it will be amazing and easy. And, at first, it is. Missing are the egos and the power struggle.
Vincent breaks first. Cultural ideals that might seem inherently American in nature are revealed as universally human. The women get jealous; the men get competitive.
The lightness of American romantic films is absent. In its place, however, is a murky depth that is somehow comforting in its oppressive presence. You want to believe that everything is possible. That adults can move so seamlessly in and out of relationships, knowing and believing that each step lands on firm ground, explicitly trusting their own and their partner’s decisions. So when [spoiler alert] the final straw in this relationship(s) is an affair, you can’t help but feel that it was you, in fact, who was lied to.
More than anything else, Four Lovers leaves one pondering the central question posed by Rachel herself: “Can you love two people at the same time?”
Four Lovers opens Friday, April 6, at Bijou Cinemas; bijou-cinemas.com