Let The Sunshine In breathes in the light of a neurotic unconventional romantic drama. Audiences went into this French drama as if they were partaking in a romcom buffet at their local boulangerie, but unsurprisingly came out disappointed when they weren't given the usual Katherine Heigl American trash that pollutes the genre. This is not a traditional romantic comedy. I repeat, not a traditional romcom. It is a drama about love, layering themes of romance and philosophies on life through an almost schizophrenic perspective. And with that, Denis has produced a wonderfully intimate portrayal of modern love through her ornate methods of artistic direction. A woman, struggling to find love, becomes involved with multiple men in an attempt to find stability and a relationship.
On the surface, this resembles a vapid pretentious outlook on the morality of men and emotional instability of women. However if you inspect Denis' contemporary storytelling techniques, it's actually a personable venture of self-discovery. A woman acquiring the fragility and tenderness that love shares with its victims, both a curse and a blessing. Coming to terms with how delicate a relationship can be, with a persistence on why certain aspects "should not be rushed".
The various men she encounters all treat her differently. A rich banker uses her to cheat on his wife, an actor regrets sleeping with her on the first meet and her ex-boyfriend/husband is unable to rekindle their flame. The only man who she believes treats her appropriately is seemingly the complete opposite to her personality, with her colleagues subconsciously planting doubt in her mind.
Denis consistently hones in on her neurotic behaviour which, whilst provides a very subtle amount of humour, allows her to experience the pain of love. It does inadvertently force her character to be disconnected with the audience, and on occasion results in her having a low morality compass. Yet fortunately the drama is shrouded in humanity. Everything felt natural. What helped elevate this was Denis' direction. A ludicrous amount of one take scenes allow us to become involved in their lives. The most notable of these being an eight minute unedited scene to which she talks to a banker at a bar. It also showcases Binoche's fantastic performance as she switches between emotions almost instantly. One second she is happily in love, the next filling her mind with doubt.
The scenes of sexual nature however felt rather excessive, particularly the introductory scene, that detracted from Denis' classy artistry. It may have highlighted the sleazy behaviour of these characters, but contrasts with the delicate portrayal of love. A nice touch that I found noteworthy was the concluding conversation with Depardieu. Midway through, the credits start rolling to emphasise the distractions that romances can cause, and it's these sort of contemporary details that enhance the film's interpretation.
Denis is certainly crafting films that aren't particularly accessible to the typical audience, but that does not result in her films being just exercises in vapidity. There's an intricate amount of humanity that brings life to this unconventional "romcom" that really should not be blocking that elusive sunshine.