Today: June 19, 2024

Love Crime

How many times must Hollywood warn us? You just can’t trust women in the work place!

All About
Eve. Damages. The Devil Wears Prada. Fatal Attraction. Disclosure. Showgirls.
How many times must
Hollywood warn us? You just can’t
trust women in the work place!

Ambitious, bossy, tightly wound, scheming, conniving bitches who’ll
smile sweetly as they stab you in the back and steal your ideas/man/burlesque
role, climbing over broken relationships (and often broken bodies!) as they
slide up that greasy corporate pole.
When will we learn? All
women are EVIL!

In Love Crime,
powerful, ambitious executive Christine (Kristin
Scott Thomas
) both nurtures and preys upon her naïve, innocent assistant
Isabelle (Ludivine Sagnier), cruelly
manipulating her in the kind of borderline sadistic working relationship verging
on the Sapphic we’re used to seeing in films where women insist on having
careers. But, when Christine
passes one of Isabelle’s ideas off as her own and destroys the younger woman’s
reputation, just maybe her protégé has learned a few dirty tricks from her
mentor and their corporate cold war soon heats up, events quickly escalating
from dirty looks and forged documents to murder…

Slick, cool and tense, the latest installment in the genre
of “Don’t trust your lady boss…she’s a WOMAN!” and Alain Corneau’s final film, Love Crime, is essentially a Gallic
retread of Mike Nichols
mid-eighties, capitalist wish fulfillment fairy tale Working Girl in which lovable, put-upon secretary Melanie Griffith turned the tables on
her unscrupulous uber-bitch boss Sigourney
, stealing her job and her man (Harrison
) in the process. Except
that in the French version, one woman bayonets the other as the cutthroat world
of office politics turns a bit Ides of
. And there’s thankfully
a lot less Carly Simon.

Already in the process of being remade by Brian De Palma (gulp!), Love Crime
offers few surprises and is at its best in the first half as it explores the
queasy, quasi-erotic vampiric bond between Scott Thomas and Sagnier’s
characters; as soon as one kills the other (this is not giving anything away)
the film becomes much less interesting and much more convoluted, descending
into an almost hysterical third act.
Both actresses are terrific however, Scott Thomas bringing just a
glimpse of vulnerability to her impeccable ice queen while the coltish Sagnier
is a study in insecure naivete.

There’s precious little love on display in Love Crime
(something De Palma will no doubt rectify with some hot girl-on-girl action)
but if you’ve ever had a bad appraisal at work or a colleague has passed off
your proposals as theirs, this film may give you ideas.

David Watson

David Watson is a screenwriter, journalist and 'manny' who, depending on time of day and alcohol intake could be described as a likeable misanthrope or a carnaptious bampot. He loves about 96% of you but there's at least 4% he'd definitely eat in the event of a plane crash. Email:

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