Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ik ook van jou (2001) AKA "I Love You Too"

AKA I Love You Too

The Dutch romantic drama 'Ik Ook Van Jou' (I Love You Too) is based on a novel by Ronald Giphart. A student begins an affair with a young woman who is overcome with borderline personality disorder. The relationship quickly goes down a dark and destructive path. Starring Antoine Kamerling, Angela Schijf, and Beau van Erven Dorens. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

Review by: David M. Johnson

“I Love You Too” is an unrated foreign film from the Netherlands. No one has reviewed it and as far as I can tell it only barely exists.

Yet, when I rented the film one particularly boring night cleaning my apartment it also happen to be the top rated foreign film on MovieLink. I’m always up for something new so decided to rent it. Although I must admit, the ‘NR-18’ rating, promise of some soft-core porn and the fact that the film was only $1.00 certainly helped encourage me.

The opening scene of the film is bizarre beyond all belief. To be perfectly blunt I almost turned it off. A man is naked upon a cross as a barely dressed woman with red spiked hair stalks him in the woods. She approaches and begins to sexually arouse him backs off, pulls out of a knife and proceeds to cut something off he probably thought he’d be using.

Yes at times it’s that kind of movie.

The story is told from a bizarre perspective. As two best friends are on a vacation hiking and rafting, they meet two woman and the majority of the story is told through as a flashbacked story Eric tells the girl he is now courting about his relationship with an ex-girlfriend Reza.

Eric starts as a well-to-do son of a wealthy family (that lives in a castle no less) who is studying to be a lawyer. His current girlfriend is just as well-to-do and just as refined as he is. He’s 24 and a virgin, so is she.

After a failed sexual encounter on his 24th birthday, he goes out to celebrate only to end up taking home a severely drunk woman, Reza, who collapses on his parents couch. Well, needless to say one things leads to another and before long nakedness and the like ensues.

Well, needless to say Eric isn’t going to pass up this opportunity and bang a relationship begins.

While at first the relationship is nominally about how many times they can have sex in a row, they start to become attached to each other and a real relationship starts to form. Eric grows as a person, stops becoming a law student and gives himself over to being a writer full of emotion. Reza becomes more and more emotional as well, becoming unhealthily attached to Eric and starting some destructive behavior cutting herself.

In the end this wasn’t the kind of soft-core late night cable style porn that I expected at the opening scene. While the supporting cast in this film leaves much to be desired, Antonie Kamerling and Angela Schijf who play Eric and Reza deliver some truly believable performances.

And perhaps much to my surprise, the sex in the film isn’t gratuitous and included simply because it might sell a few more DVD’s. It actually contributes to the story and often is used a plot device within the story.

Reza and Eric prove to be interesting characters as well. Reza is so unwilling to be open with someone and yet shows some bouts of incredible emotional attachment. She is upset that Eric has an erection in the morning convinced that he has another woman in the room. Her cutting gets worse and worse as her self-consciousness about everything leads her to harm herself in increasingly dangerous ways.

Eric becomes frustrated at their relationship and removes himself from it as much as possible while never able to fully free himself, even in the closing scenes we realize just how much these two people care about each other, despite all the yelling and screaming they’ve made each other better people.

And yet, then there are the non-flashback scenes. Horribly acted and pointlessly directed scenes that seem to only fill the purposes of providing a backdrop for the narration. The character development of everyone else is transparent that there’s almost no point in watching them because their actions have been played out by every clichéd moment in a thousand movies before this one.

In the end I left only mildly satisfied at the film. While it provided an interesting backdrop for some interesting characters in a love/sex story it never really got deep enough below the surface of their relationship.

Perhaps this is best illustrated by a scene in which Reza invites Eric over to watch their parents dogs, only to completely trash the apartment, get completely drunk and have wild sex all over the living room only to have their parents walk in on them. Afterwards they take a walk out in the rain, during which Reza sweetly picks some flowers for Eric and manages to talk her way out of getting arrested.

While kind of a cute scene in itself, director Ruud van Hemert passes up this opportunity to connect these two aspects of their relationship and to help them evolve a bit more as people. They are two interesting scenes without much to connect them into perspective.

It’s this connection that develops art into something timeless. Juxtaposition and contrast and not just a good idea are needed to make an in depth emotional impact on an audience. “I Love You Too” often falls just short of doing this.

And for anyone considering renting this on MovieLink, yes there’s a lot of sex and no it isn’t porn. Maybe it is what porn should be, where the characters have feelings and care about each other – and if you skipped through most of this review, maybe you’d be better off renting ‘Girls with Low Self Esteem.’

Thanks Echte Tinus for the screens

Torrent: here or here
English subs: here

# Format : XviD
Audio : MPEG-1 Layer 3, 44100Hz 128 kb/s total (2 chnls)
Language : DUTCH
Frame : WS (672x368)
Run Time : 1:31:53
File Info:1CD=50*RaR15MB,cover,sample,SFV,NFO.
Film is gebrand op CD en afgespeeld op standallone DviX speler, werkt prima.

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