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Love Me If You Dare
Directed by Yann Samuell
Produced by Christophe Rossignon
Written by Jacky Cukier
Yann Samuell
Starring Guillaume Canet
Marion Cotillard
Distributed by Paramount Classics
Release date(s) 17 September 2003 (France) 24 September 2003 (Belgium)
Running time 93 min.
Language French

Love Me If You Dare (French title: Jeux d'enfants — "Children's Games" in English) is a 2003 French film directed by Yann Samuell.



Julien begins narrating the tale as a child, divulging details about his family life and his new friend, Sophie, daughter of Polish immigrants. Julien and Sophie build a friendship and amorous curiosity as they exchange a tin carousel when one of them completes a dare. The dares become increasingly risky and troublesome for the two, as they are often sent to the principal's office in their academy.

Eventually, ten years pass, and the pair are now in their late teens, continuing with their game of dares, even to the expense of their emotional health. Long periods of time pass by dare of both Sophie and Julien, and the story ends with both characters in the mid 30s, married to separate spouses and Julien with two children. Ten years have passed since Sophie proclaimed that ten years would pass until they spoke again. And as the anniversary of the day nears and arrives, Julien is consumed with the thought of seeing Sophie again. They unite later that night, setting off a series of events that leads to their ultimate fate.


  • Guillaume Canet – Julien Janvier
  • Marion Cotillard – Sophie Kowalsky
  • Thibault Verhaeghe – 8 year old Julien
  • Joséphine Lebas-Joly – 8 year old Sophie
  • Emmanuelle Grönvold – Julien's mother
  • Gérard Watkins – Julien's father
  • Gilles Lellouche – Sergei Nimov Nimovitch
  • Julia Faure – Sophie's sister
  • Laetizia Venezia – Christelle Louise Bouchard
  • Élodie Navarre – Aurélie Miller
  • Nathalie Nattier – 80-year-old Sophie
  • Robert Willar – 80-year-old Julien
  • Frédéric Geerts – Igor
  • Manuela Sanchez – Teacher
  • Philippe Drecq – School headmaster


Keystone to the film is a small tin box in the shape of a carousel. In a flash–forward segment, the film opens with a shot of a construction site, with the box partially enveloped in concrete. Once we return to the present, we see Julien initially receives it from his mother, and upon seeing Sophie being mistreated by other children at school, presents it to her. He hopes she'll lend it back on occasion, but she demands he do something daring to prove he really wants it. Thereafter, the two are engaged in a playful rivalry: whoever has the box can force the other to perform a dare to get it back. A few examples of dares are Julien getting married, Sophie wearing her underwear outside her clothes, Julien stealing a car, them slapping an athlete at school, and ultimately, getting buried in concrete. The film ultimately ends with a nearly identical shot to the opening, with the box once again partially enveloped in concrete.

The film's visual style also reflects the setting: while Julien and Sophie are children, the world is slightly fuzzy, and everything is bright and colourful. As they grow older, the film becomes sharper, and the colour more realistic. In a hypothetical scene of the two as an elderly couple, the film again becomes fuzzy, but now has a definite sepia tint.


The song "La Vie en Rose" permeates the film and dominates much of the soundtrack. Several distinct versions are used, including the Édith Piaf original, covers by Donna Summer, Louis Armstrong, the Brazilian A cappella group Trio Esperança, and French pop artist Zazie, as well as a handful of instrumental cuts. Coincidentally, Marion Cotillard went on to win an Oscar for her portrayal of Piaf in the film La Vie en Rose, also called La Môme. A piano arrangement, Ouverture by Philippe Rombi, can also be heard throughout the film.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Love Me If You Dare (French title: Jeux d'enfants — "Children's Games" in English) is a 2003 French film directed by Yann Samuell.

Sophie Kowalski: I wanna be a cream puff.

Julien Jeanvier: [talking about Igor the gym coach] And how big are his biceps again?

Sophie Kowalski: Bigger than your brain

Julien Jeanvier: And you like this guy?

Sophie Kowalski: As a second choice [starts walking towards Igor]

Julien Jeanvier: [shouting] Second choice... who's your first? Sophie...

Julien Jeanvier: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Aurélie Miller: Yes.

Julien Jeanvier: Naive.

Sophie Kowalski: Don't say a word. Let me talk. You missed me? Because I missed you. You're a real tyrant. It's so hard to be mad at you. But don't kid yourself, I still am. I want to talk and forget the game, just for once. Like my dress? I hesitated. Nabbed it off my sister. She has another red one, like a thermonuclear bombshell... That's the one I should've worn. I must've spent... three hours in front of the mirror. But I got there, see? I'm pretty. You better like it, or I'll kill you! [stops the man she is talking to]

Sophie Kowalski: No, wait... Where was I? The problem is, that... even if you said, "I love it," I wouldn't believe you. Julien, I no longer know when you're playing or not. I'm lost. Wait, I'm not finished. Tell me you love me. Tell me, because if I tell you first, I'm afraid you'll think it's a game. Save me... I beg of you.

Julien Jeanvier: You know... there were lots of things I was game for that you never said.

Sophie Kowalski: Like?

Julien Jeanvier: Eating ants... insulting the unemployed... loving you like crazy.

Julien Jeanvier: Being an adult means to have a speedometer that marks 210 and not driving over 60.

Julien Jeanvier: [as Julien is fleeing from the police] Sophie was back in the game! Pure, raw, explosive pleasure! Better than drugs, better than smack! Better than a dope-coke-crack-fix-shit-shoot-sniff-ganja-marijuana-blotter-acid-ecstasy! Better than sex, head, 69, orgies, masturbation, tantrism, Kama Sutra or Thai doggy-style! Better than banana milkshakes! Better than George Lucas's trilogy, the muppets and 2001! Better than Emma Peel, Marilyn, Lara Croft and Cindy Crawford's beauty mark! Better than the B-side to Abbey Road, Jimmy Hendrix and the first man on the moon! Space Mountain, Santa Claus, Bill Gates' fortune, the Dalai Lama, Lazarus raised from the dead! Schwarzenegger's testosterone shots, Pam Anderson's lips! Woodstock, raves... Better than Sade, Rimbaud, Morrison and Castaneda! Better than freedom, better than life!

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