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:: Shall We Kiss? (Un baiser s'il vous plaît)

Shall We Kiss? is a playful French film that delves into some serious dilemmas surrounding desire and infidelity. It is essentially a story within a story, beginning when the devishly handsome Gabriel (Michael Cohen) meets the beautiful Emilie (Julie Gayet) by sheer chance.

After spending a flirtatious night together, the proposal of a kiss goodnight has Emilie beginning to tell a story that has made her aware, and wary, of how a single kiss can have serious consequences. Thus begins the second tale of lust and longing, where she tells Gabriele the tale of Nicolas (writer-director Emmanuel Mouret) and Judith (Virginie Ledoyen), two best friends who become involved romantically despite Judith’s marriage to wealthy pharmacist Claudio (Stefano Accorsi).

This tale is told in a beautifully simple way. Nicolas is starved of female affection and struggling to cope with a loneliness that can’t be satisfied by mechanic sex with a prostitute. His close relationship with Judith has them discussing various solutions to the problem, eventually ending with the idea that if they have sex once, he will be cured.

What follows is one of the most comedic and memorable scenes in the film, where their natural ease with each other turns into a polite, step-by-step lead up to doing the deed. Naturally, once it is done, their relationship changes dramatically. With sex, comes confusion about their feelings for each other, and jealousy toward the other relationships in their lives. Convincing themselves that repeating the act will dispel any of the magic and excitement of the first time, they are disappointed that it is in fact the opposite.

The movie is nicely balanced, and it is easy to follow both couples with genuine interest and affection. Mouret plays the frantic, bumbling lead well, and little touches like keeping on his socks for sex and asking the prostitute if he needs to wash his hair are little touches that complete the character. The beautiful Ledoyen is also convincing as she tries, unsuccessfully, to stop her growing love for Nicolas.
It is a simple story about the complications of falling in and out of love and trying to avoid hurting people you still greatly care for. Mouret communicates how we all have so much love within us, it is often hard not to desire more than one lover.

Shall We Kiss is in cinemas now.