Anaïs in Love (CREDIT: Magnolia Pictures)

Starring: Anaïs Demoustier, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Denis Podalydès, Jean-Charles Clichet

Director: Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet

Running Time: 98 Minutes

Rating: Unrated (R-Level for getting Pretty Hot and Heavy)

Release Date: April 29, 2022 (Theaters)/May 6, 2022 (On Demand)

Early on in Anaïs in Love, a soon-to-be ex-boyfriend tells the title character, “You don’t know what human interaction is.” But hey, dude, there are different types of humans and therefore different types of interaction that are recognizably human. Although I do understand his frustration. Anaïs (Anaïs Demoustier) is the type of person who will skip one academic symposium that she’s supposed to be working at to attend another one that she just found out about. She’s also the type of person who will suddenly start having an affair with an older married man, and then just as suddenly end things with him and track down his wife to have an affair with her. We’re not catching Anaïs at the one moment that she happens to be in love, because there isn’t just one moment. Instead, that title refers to an eternal state of being.

Is this just how the French are, and perhaps always will be? There’s a long tradition of the country’s cinema and literature that indicates that this is a mercurial people when it comes to affairs of the heart, after all. But in this case, there are some clear signs that Anaïs isn’t representative of everyone. In fact, she is the outlier in her orbit, and if everyone else seems just as passionate as her, that’s mainly thanks to how infectious she is. It’s as if Cupid or Venus took on the form of a mortal but could never be fully satisfied in such an arrangement.

There’s also a scene in which Anaïs accompanies her brother as they take a monkey to the vet. I don’t know why that little detour exists, but I’m glad it does. Life can’t be all about following the whims of your spirit and loins. Sometimes you find a furry little critter writhing around on the carpet. If Anaïs had just run away from that obligation, or if she had ignored her mom’s cancer diagnosis, I probably would have been a lot less patient with her. Or maybe not! Her charms are pretty irresistible, I must say, and they make for a compelling sexual journey I can’t help but witness without judgment.

Anaïs in Love is Recommended If You Like: Jules et Jim, Madame Bovary, Tips for leg stretches

Grade: 3.5 out of 5 Love Letters