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VENICE 2007 Venice Days

A kiss is (not) just a kiss

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When Emilie refuses to kiss Gabriel after a chance encounter, it is the beginning of a long story about another innocent, meaningless kiss that, however, triggered a dramatic chain of events. But can history and human desire ever keep from repeating themselves?

This is the question that lies at the heart of Shall We Kiss? [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Un baiser, s'il vou plait) by Emmanuel Mouret, back behind the camera just one year after his successful Change of Address [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

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The very nature of desire is as important as cinema itself to Mouret: “One of the ideas of the film was to show how one story influences another and changes it and whether kisses without consequences really exist. I was also influenced by Montaigne, who says that [in French] thinking (penser) comes from weighing (peser), so that when we think we are also weighing situations in the sense of examining them.”

That the characters all try to keep up a rational front against something so much bigger than they are makes this story within a story somewhat of a comedy of errors that nevertheless does not shy away from drama and sensuality. One of the film’s stars, Virginie Ledoyen, lauded Mouret’s directing gifts, stating: “Emmanuel’s talent lies in the fact that with great modesty he can create something sensual and erotic that is also very original.”

Mouret further added that he wanted to depict a sense of embarrassment, eroticism and fun in the film, but perhaps only the first comes through as intended. The illogically logical discussions on sensuality and love are a game that goes on too long, and despite the more than solid cast (that includes Mouret, Stefano Accorsi, Julie Gayet, Michael Cohen and Frédérique Bel) eventually establish themselves as the film’s only emotional tenor.

Produced by Moby Dick Films on a roughly €3m budget, Shall We Kiss is being handled internationally by Unifrance and will be released in France on December 12 by TF1 International.

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