Love and Human Remains Review

Image for Love and  Human Remains

David and Candy used to be lovers but now live together on a platonic level, leaving David searching nightclubs for his next conquest and Candy wishing to relive their relationship. Then Bernie one of David's friends come to stay and the equilibrium begins to change.


Based on an internationally acclaimed stage play, Unidentified Human Remains And The True Nature Of Love, this — the Quebecois director's debut English language project and his first film since Jesus Of Montreal — is a very queer poisson indeed. Opening with artily angled camera sweeps under grim urban freeways, it sets itself up as a high concept style movie then segues into humdrum domestic drama in the lives of two flatmates (and former lovers).

David (Gibson) is bisexual, an actor-waiter by day and promiscuous nightclub predator by night; Candy (Marshall) is straight, a book reviewer who longs for a suitable lover but still yearns for her live-in ex. Into this trail a series of similarly disaffected folk, including David's misogynist chum Bernie (Bancroft), and much navel-gazing ensues as each of the characters tries to resolve his or her relationships. The whole is simsterly turned on its head when it becomes apparent that one of the group is a serial killer.

With its punk chic and brooding atmosphere after the likes of Diva and Subway, and a fashionably obsessive interest in matters of love, death and human relationships, this tries to be a cult movie for the 90s but instead ends up hopelessly stranded in the 80s. It's certainly a handsome, quirky one-off but its central themes have succeeded far better elsewhere, and the somewhat retro result seems unlikely to make even a fraction of the impact of its rather obvious decade-old influences.

The difficulty with having such a stylised film is that it dates that much quicker. Taking in so much of the French urban landscape, as well as dealing with 80's sensibilities, things have changed so much that it's hard not to look at the film as outdated.