With Alexandra Gilbreath in a leading role, how could I not love The Art of Love
“She’s the sex industry’s answer to Shakespeare”
Philippe Weibel’s 2022 film The Art of Love is a rather lovely affair, somewhat lowkey but utterly charming. As it opens in the world of sex toy-selling, there’s a note of quirkiness in the air but as the story kicks in and characters develop, there’s a quietly moving emotionality to the unexpected friendship that grows and a great satisfaction to its evolution.
The glorious Alexandra Gilbreath plays Eva and Oliver Walker portrays Adam, both involved in the sex toy industry, though from completely different angles. He’s a ripped online influencer using the products whereas she writes about them in a very much hands-off manner, so naturally they’re thrust together for a big new launch, which leads to unexpected results all-round.
They’re both lonely in their different ways – him searching for meaning through his casual sex encounter, her marooned in a seemingly loveless marriage (with Ted Lasso’s Jeremy Swift no less) – and though there’s tetchiness first in the way that they are forced to work together, something heartwarmingly authentic grows through a meaningful friendship.
Gilbreath’s subtle but stellar performance charts a real growth in self-confidence, well-matched with Walker’s painstaking move from online delusion to IRL connection. Location work shows off England well and a witty vein of dark humour keeps things sharp even as the emotional beats hit often with blunt force. Recommended.