What You Need To Know:
There’s not much to say about this disgusting movie. It is pretentious and deliberately shocking. Any positive message intended by the filmmaker gets lost in the extremely graphic content. It is torture to watch DEATH IN LOVE. For much more wholesome and worthwhile movies, go to www.movieguide.org’s archive of 5,000 movie reviews.
(HHH, LLL, VVV, SSS, NN, AA, D, MMM) Very strong nihilistic, depressing humanist worldview about relationships, with little or no possibility for redemption of any kind; 52 obscenities (mostly “f” words), seven strong profanities and six light profanities; extremely graphic violent scenes include Nazi doctors cut into women’s bodies, Nazi doctors cut into dead Jewish man’s head and remove brain to slice it up and examine it, two implied murders, man hits woman during sadomasochistic affair, man deliberately slams piano on his hand, man stabbed in chest, and woman tears up kitchen while two adult sons watch and tears up boy’s bedroom as two young sons watch in fear; extreme sexual content includes depicted fornication, man shown hitting woman repeatedly during sadomasochistic sex scenes, man watches pornographic video tape, and men shown trying to pleasure themselves in three scenes; many shots of upper female nudity, shots of rear female nudity, and shots of upper and rear male nudity; alcohol use and slight drunkenness; smoking; and, dysfunctional family, lying, deceit, fraud, sick relationships, and parents abandon daughter to fend for herself against National Socialist army invading France during the onset of World War II.
DEATH IN LOVE is a disgusting movie that tries to expose the psychological effects of sadomasochistic abuse on human beings, including Nazi horrors against women and Jews. It’s just disgusting, not insightful.
The shocking opening includes shots of Nazi doctors at a concentration camp during World War II, slicing open conscious women while one young doctor becomes lovers with one of the Jewish women in the camp. Interspersed with these scenes are scenes of the woman’s older son, played by Josh Lucas (no names are mentioned throughout the movie), having sadomasochistic sex with his Asian female boss in 1993, the night before the first World Trade Center bombing. His boss enjoys him hitting her repeatedly, but refuses to have intercourse because he has been with too many women. This just angers him even more. The next morning, when he’s alone, he tries to pleasure himself but can’t.
Cut to him visiting his mother’s house for dinner. Clearly, the mother has been emotionally scarred by her experience, and so has he indirectly. She goes into unexplainable rages and is cheating on her husband, who has stayed with her. She apparently longs to be together again with her Nazi lover, who left her when he ran away from the approaching Russian troops. Her younger son is so emotionally scarred by his wacky mother that he can’t live on his own, even though he is a talented composer and pianist. The older brother gets upset when the younger brother complains about the inadequacy of the strict, but bizarre, vegetarian meal he has demanded she make for him. This throws the mother into a rage smashing dishes and clearing shelves in the small kitchen. The older brother urges his younger sibling to find a way to earn enough money to get his own place, to get away from this disturbed woman.
At his office, the older brother is at first upset about the hotshot new salesman working at the Asian woman’s modeling and acting agency. They become friends, however, as they share techniques of getting clients. The older brother, who also teaches acting classes for the clients, is more conventional and truthful, reminding the women clients that it’s hard to make it in the business, so they should lower their expectations. Eventually, he invites his younger brother to stay at his condo, even though he is using it to fund the start-up of a shady modeling and acting agency with the new hotshot salesman.
Meanwhile, a scene reveals that the mother’s own parents abandoned her to fend for herself against Hitler’s National Socialists invading France at the onset of World War II. And now, the Nazi doctor from the concentration camp has finally tracked down his former lover in New York City. He starts following her and killing off the three rivals to his affections. A twist at the end leads to an open-ended last scene that comments on the disappointing lives of these despicable, tortured people.
There’s not much to say about this disgusting movie. It is pretentious and deliberately shocking. Any positive message intended by the writer/director gets lost in the extremely graphic, gratuitous content. The boring, pretentious, anti-climactic ending does not help. Another problem is that the non-shocking scenes in the movie are not shot in an interesting, compelling way that would merit much attention otherwise.
It is torture to watch DEATH IN LOVE. For much more wholesome and worthwhile movies, go to www.movieguide.org’s archive of 5,000 movie reviews.