THE OPINION OF THE “WORLD” – WHY NOT
The first feature film by actress Noémie Merlant, revealed in Portrait of the girl on fire (2019), by Céline Sciamma, is a fiction inspired by her experience. The actress, born in 1988, tells her love story with Gimi Covaci, a young Gypsy and Romanian, aged about twenty, who was already playing in his short film, Shakira (2019). The film was shot in Romania, with the young man’s parents, who play their own roles, very comfortable in front of the camera.
Beyond this documentary framework, Mi iubita, my love is above all a rather predictable romance between a passing Frenchwoman, Jeanne (Noémie Merlant), and a Romanian Gypsy, Nino (Gimi Covaci) – the story was co-written by the director and by Gimi Covaci.
Jeanne leaves to celebrate her bachelor party with three friends in Romania. Here they are in the car, crazy and happy, although Jeanne already has a little tense features, as if she dreads the prospect of this marriage – later, the telephone exchanges with the future husband will not be very heated. In the evening, the four friends stop at a service station. We find them sitting on the ground chatting, next to their vehicle – what could be more natural… While a young man comes to accost them nicely (the famous Nino, accompanied by his little brother), their car is stolen in a lightning.
Panicked, Jeanne and her friends don’t know what to do. Nino and his family welcome them for the night, but the stay will be prolonged… Then begins a long tunnel on the theme of “two cultures that everything opposes, but which will eventually meet”. At the beginning of the cohabitation, the French women open their eyes like deer startled when they discover the daily life of Nino’s family, the shouting matches of the parents, the looks of the latter, imbued with a certain mistrust, their conversations that they do not understand. . They also seem a little disappointed in front of the dishes they are offered to swallow. But the days pass, and the current, too, ends up passing. Mi iubita, my love contains some beautiful scenes, like this birthday party during which the prejudices of each other seem to have dissipated around the bottle of sparkling wine.
But the film remains corseted with good intentions and sins by its demonstrative story, a bit edifying: here, it is the gypsies who show a benevolent welcome, whereas they are sometimes badly considered in rich countries, we are told in hollow the director… The story focuses on the two future lovers, exchanging endless glances, abandoning the secondary roles, insufficiently fleshed out – Jeanne’s friends find themselves hanging around, the actresses having little grain to grind in the script.
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