~contains spoilers~

For Lovers Only is like nothing I've ever seen before. Despite the irony of the affair what beautiful honesty! The love and intimacy between Yves & Sofia was so real and the sentiments and descriptions of love so heartfelt and true. For Lovers Only is everything from beautiful to funny to heartbreaking and back again. It takes you on the most amazingly beautiful journey of love and being in love I’ve ever seen told in a film.

For Lovers Only was the answer to why I don’t watch a lot of movies these days. It is everything I have been looking for in a film for so long. I’m inspired and in awe not just at its incredibly endless beauty and honesty, but by the fact this film was made on love and passion not money. For Lovers Only is a piece of art and a masterpiece at that. There are no over the top special effects, it’s not in 3D and there were no actors clamouring for multi-million dollar paycheques. Everything you see is natural beauty in picturesque towns, honest writing, exquisite direction, and compelling, real character portrayals coupled with a hauntingly beautiful score and gorgeous music. For Lovers Only is a film that becomes part of your heart and soul; something you wouldn’t have any other way.

The beauty of the black and white really added to the overall feel, intimacy and heart of the story being told and Michael’s direction was superb. Every shot told a story and gave you something to look at and added to the emotional experience. The high definition only adds to the epic beauty of the film with deep, rich blacks and crisp whites. Cary Gries’ editing was amazing. I adore the college of moments intertwined within the main story, giving us additional glimpses into the love shared between Yves and Sofia. It is truly like watching a masterpiece unfold before your eyes.

There is so much heartbreaking beauty and honesty in the dialogue of For Lovers Only. And as a perfect counterpart the amazing humour always hits the spot, and is just as honest as the love and emotion. The back and forth from English to French between Sofia and the cab driver as well as Yves and his agent also added to the realism of the film.

The music fits each scene and moment perfectly. Kubilay Uner’s score was breathtaking and heartfelt. Additionally one can’t help but feel as though the accompanying songs were just waiting to be part of this film. Be it to lead into a moment or carry us through a scene the music was beautiful and became part of the story.

The wardrobe put together by Bic Owen suited the characters and the atmosphere of France beautifully, and the blacks and whites looked brilliant on screen. Sarah Vaughn is outstanding at utilising Stana’s exquisite natural beauty rather then hiding her behind layers of unnecessary makeup. I adore that Sofia’s makeup looks so natural and that the state of her hair always suits the scenes. This makes Sofia so much more realistic and it’s refreshing to see.

Mark Polish was compelling and captivating as Yves. His portrayal was so tender and passionate. Yves is a man who loves with all his heart and then some. He knew Sofia like the back of his hand and Mark portrayed this brilliantly and honestly.

Casting Stana Katic as Sofia was a stroke of genius! The honesty, soul and freedom of her acting are unequalled. It's so completely captivating, memorising and awe inspiring. She captures Sofia perfectly and brings to life a woman who is completely free, with an amazing passion, but also a childlike innocence in the way she sees the world.

Yves & Sofia's love story is so captivating, honest, beautiful, breathtaking and heart wrenching! The affair as an emotional backdrop added a whole new layer to the story and so much would have been lost without it. The journey they went on from ‘lets just do this’ to ‘no matter how much I love you we can't do this’ was a huge part of the emotions and a respectfully handled counter balance of a timeless love mixed up in the realities of life. To build lives with people that never measured up, to have that one person who makes you complete and then have to go back to that life that you never felt like you fit into when your heart belongs to another was so heartbreaking. Yves & Sofia had the most epic of love stories that could never be. It was a heartbreaking case of if only...

I feel like there are four integrals moments that lead up to captivating love story being told and each one delivers perfectly.

Firstly: I loved the moment when they saw each other again for the first time. They didn't need more words then were exchanged. It was written all over their faces. This scene is so powerful, so many emotions cross their faces all at once. I also loved how the music just ceased when they saw each other and in that split second they were right back where they were all those years ago. The fact that this scene didn’t change since Mark first wrote it just goes to prove that we should all trust our instincts and not second guess ourselves.

Secondly: From the moment they meet up in the restaurant it's like they were never apart and all the heartache they had been carrying with them all those years just evaporated. They never forgot the little quirks and eccentricities that made up the other. It’s like every moment, and every memory was captured in their heads and hearts, stored for safe keeping.

Thirdly: The scene where they lay out their cards for the first time, finding out what they have been doing with their lives, realising just how much their separation has affected how their lives have unfolded. The delivery of the dialogue when they talk about what they are doing in this moment is so tender and their emotions just hang between them like a question. Again the music when they first kiss fits the emotions of the scene perfectly and really adds to the moment.

Forth: I love that when Sofia sees Yves outside her apartment she walks right into his personal space and without words they just know… It’s like they are intrinsically connected and can communicate just by being in the same space.

The freedom, fun and intimacy between Yves and Sofia were brought to life by the amazing onscreen chemistry between Mark and Stana. They played off each superbly; it’s remarkable that they had barely spent any time together prior to filming. When one was acting the other was reacting. Be it to dialogue, looks or actions (like when Yves was playing with Sofia’s tongue when she was sucking his finger). The love that Yves and Sofia have for each other is pure, deep and unconditional. They are in love in every sense of the word. Each moment between them be it spoken, silent, simply being in each others space or making love is meaningful, heartfelt and true. I adored the tender moments between them when they were playing with each others hands or hair. This was so mesmerising, intimate and tender. Moments like when Sofia smiles while they are kissing and Yves just continues to kiss her really made their love so real and organic. Reading I love you on both their lips in the silent moments is beautiful. These three magical words fall so naturally between them. And like the dialogue these intimate moments were beautifully contrast with fun moments like spinning around together, lover’s leap, the chocolate scene, the motorbike scene and dancing down stairs while knocking on doors. The love and playfulness were intertwined in such a way that we saw just how much these two people loved being in each other’s presence.

I loved the symmetry throughout the film both within the story and for the characters. The way the spoken scenes started and ended with Sofia in the cab helped set the tone and give us a degree of closure through the change in her emotional state. And the guy Sofia was interviewing was basically telling their life story of the past eight years, giving voice to what they were both thinking in those moments after meeting again. I also adored the emotional symmetry throughout the different stages of the film. Starting with the phone calls to their spouses where we first learn about the part of their lives that has never really made sense to either of them, to playing with their rings after their world’s collided again. The fact that Yves’ tattoo had to evolve so he could move on with his life while Sofia’s was a way of trying to erase a memory. The moments where they find out more about the other’s spouse put them both on an emotional rollercoaster as they find themselves learning these things, knowing they do and don’t want to know at the same time. 

By contrast I also liked the paralleling moments within their stories and emotions. Although we only know Yves’ & Sofia’s spouses through their respective phone conversations neither relationship appears to have much depth or passion. David comes across as rather abrupt with Sofia and comments like ‘you sound horrible’ instead of asking if she is alright lack compassion. By contrast Yves is constantly aware of Sofia and is respectful of her thoughts and feelings. He shows compassion, concern and respect for her when he asks if she is ok, later tells her she will be ok and when he makes sure that she wants to have sex. The fact that Yves is willing to stop if Sofia is not 100% certain shows a level of love and respect beyond words. And while Yves’ wife comes across as possessive and nagging Sofia is content just to be in his presence, she doesn’t need assurances of his love and devotion she knows without question. The fact that Sofia has chosen not to have children while Yves is a father really hit home with both characters. The moment Sofia finds out about Yves’ daughter, and the reality of what they are doing washes over her is heart wrenching. You can almost see the clogs ticking over as she digests this information and realises it’s no longer just two empty marriages at stake. It’s this moment where each starts going though varying stages of realisation as they come to terms with the fact that their time together has to come to an end. This is the one time they are never quite in sync on their feelings. The emotional battle that they fought both within themselves and between each other was heart breaking to watch unfold. The look of utter despair, as if he is going to shatter into a million pieces during the f**k it out scene is the most emotionally raw moment we see in Yves and its heart wrenching.

I also enjoyed the added touches like the use of sunglasses when Yves and Sofia wanted to hide the emotions that their eyes would give up in a heartbeat. That Yves’ ringtone tells the story of FLO. Or when Sofia was playing with the flower on the beach, it really added to her feelings as she subconsciously twirled it. I also love that you can tell Sofia has gotten really contemplative at the end of the discussion about their love being made known, because it's the one time during this scene she doesn't bite Yves' finger when he strokes her jaw. The single tear that runs down her cheek is also heartbreaking. The fact that ‘Love’ is initially played as though Yves and Sofia are actually listening to it is a beautiful touch. And it’s very fitting that the film ends with the mention of For Lovers Only in English and French. I loved that every moment; every word and every shot had meaning and enhanced the story in its own unique and special way.

Watching For Lovers Only was definitely an intimate experience. The connection I made with this film is like with no other movie, and it just grows with each viewing. I have laughed and cried with Yves and Sofia numerous times over.

From my heart to yours thank you so much Mark, Michael and Stana for bringing to life this epically beautiful and awe inspiring masterpiece. It has touched my heart like nothing before. 

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