Shall We Kiss?

Posted by schnolis on April 25th, 2009 filed in Reviews

SHALL WE KISS?What do we risk with a kiss? Is it just an innocent moment between two people? Or can it alter the lives of those who share what is perhaps the ultimate intimacy? If the experience moves you so completely that afterward you question everything in a new light, then maybe you should be careful whether you risk it. That is the central question to the movie Shall We Kiss?

Émilie meets a young man Gabriel when she’s trying to find a cab to her hotel. He gives her a ride, instead, and very shyly asks her to dinner. She accepts. They have a nice evening out and as he returns her to her hotel, he attempts to give her a small kiss. She refuses, saying that she cannot accept because the consequences are too severe. A friend of hers, she explains, did that once and it changed her life forever. To prove herself, she relays the story to her new friend, and we the viewers flashback to the key moments she discusses.

Judith is her friend, who is married to a wonderful man, Claudio. They seem perfectly happy. Judith is a longtime best friend with Nicolas, from when they went to college. When Nicolas suffers a kind of ennui as a result of not sharing any intimacy with anyone in so long. He pleads with Judith to help him and she reluctantly accedes. In the course of events, they kiss, which leads to their making love. While this cures Nicolas from his wasting sickness, it kindles a desire between Judith and Nicolas that continues to flourish.

The spiral downard from there is largely predictable, but touching and sad simultaneously. Émelie tells all this to her new friend, and under some careful restrictions, allows Gabriel to kiss her. After their moment was concluded, he left the room and her life forever.

What I liked: The tender way the movie dealt with the passions shared. I enjoyed the witty dialog and the clever situational moments. There were certainly moments when I could completely sympathize with the characters. The movie never took itself too seriously, but explored the nature of love and friendship, closeness and chemistry all with some interesting results.

What I disliked: There was one thing that bothered me about the story. The final kiss between Émelie and Gabriel was beautiful, but didn’t fit with the story. She originally refused the kiss on the grounds that she was too concerned about the consequences. But after telling the whole story sharing the evening with Gabriel, she risks it anyway. If she had just acquiesced originally and just got out of the car, nothing would have been different. Except we wouldn’t have had the movie we did, obviously.

Rating: 7 of 10

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