By Sara Darling
Are you a twin? Do you know any twins? Do you like art house thrillers?
A confusing, thrilling and arousing movie, ‘Double Lover’ is a gripping, psychological sex romp starring identical twins (or are they?) It is French after all! So ambiguity, and lots of nudity is guaranteed. And for anyone who gets excited by threesomes, be prepared to writhe in your seat!
Opening with a beautiful, slightly neurotic and seemingly sexually inhibited young woman Chloe (Marine Vacth), who is baring all to her doctor, *quite literally. The tummy cramps she has been experiencing are dismissed by her GP as she is referred to a shrink to delve deeper into her delicate, mental state and unearth how her symptoms might be connected to her past At this stage, you might expect is to be a straightforward doctors and nurses fantasy scenario, however Chloe is deeper than the pretty puddle, that she appears.
On first meeting with her her psychoanalyst, the screen cackles with sexual tension. Intimate eye contact, heavy breathing and laden silences add to the chemistry- although the therapist Paul (played by Jérémie Renier) tries his best to remain professional. However the sessions expose vulnerabilities on both parties, and Paul finally admits he cannot see her in a professional capacity any more as he won’t be able to control himself.
It appears that the singletons do the right thing by casting aside the working relationship, and fall in love. Is this the start of Chloe’s recovery? It would be easy to get sucked in by the happy ending, although the movie has only just begun! However after a shogun romance, the smitten couple move in together, to the distaste of Chloe’s faithful cat who from the outset has a problem with Paul. Is this a warning sign? Probably, but when Chloe finds ID with another name, the beacon is definitely flashing a red alert on her beau.
With a bit of amateur detective work (perhaps as she has too much time on her hands since quitting her modelling career) she manages to track down another psychiatrist with a matching name.. Now the situation starts to get saucy. This new shrink is the spitting image of her lover (and is in actual fact his identical twin- played again by Jérémie Renier, with his hair combed differently).
Dr. Louis Delord is the brother Paul refuses to acknowledge, and of course Chloe is intrigued as he does not talk about his past…. Creating a fake identity for herself, she books in for an appointment, and begins a series of addictive therapy sessions with Louis (who thinks he can “cure” her of her sexual frigidity by partaking in actual aggressive sex). Knowing that Chloe is actually her brother’s lover and she is getting what she needs from him, adds to his thrill and the tension of the meetings. The complete opposite to his brother Paul, sexually liberated Louis uses practical methods to unblock his patient, and Chloe unleashes a pleasure she has not experienced before.
However, Chloe is in a dilemma. Trying to fight off her basic instinct to remain faithful to her live-in-lover, she can’t succumb the temptation of ‘therapy’ with the brother- where she confronts her most deeply buried secrets and desires.
With both men claiming a part in her life, she can’t refuse either sex, and when the home loving Paul straddles her for a missionary wham bam, a second version of Paul (or is it Louis?) comes into the bedroom to watch the proceedings... and the real Paul beckons the other him over to join in; Starting with a kiss, the foreplay soon turns more aggressive, which seems to please them both. With Chloe watching, both males start to caress her, kissing, sucking, licking with two mouths for double the pleasure. Cue arty French movie klaxon- as Chloé’s wanton pleasure causes her body to split from the breasts to form a second head of her own, in order to get satisfaction from both lovers.
This dreamy, erotic scene does noting to clarify which lover Chloe should be with, as she wantonly continues a relationship with both, however it has released some of her inhibitions as she livens up intercourse with Paul by pleasuring him from behind with a dildo in front of a mirror.
Unsurprising, with unprotected intercourse, Chloe discovers she is pregnant but how can she be sure who the father is? The finger points at no-one, but flashbacks to the past indicate that this situation has happened before with the two brothers, but which one is she to believe?
A tense reunion of the lovers, where we don’t know who is real or fake is confusing, and along with the screen of mirrors, the resulting gunshot is as expected as it is unexpected. One twin is eliminated; But is the right one or the wrong one? Do we have a favourite? Are we supposed to? There is no time to digest these questions, as Chloe is rushed off to hospital. Presumably to give birth or have a miscarriage.
On waking her absent mother is waiting, with boyfriend Paul. In a resolution (of sorts) it turns out the stomach cramps that had been plaguing her turned out to be a cyst brought on by her sapping up her own twin’s placenta whilst in her mother’s womb; So for her first twenty five years she had been carrying round a sibling’s embryo- which suggests her fascination with twins.
No happy endings, but a compulsive and more-ish film nonetheless.
In cinemas on June 1st