Along came Love is a love story built on shared secrets and shame in post-war France

Along came love
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Writer/director Katell Quillévéré (Heal the Living, AF FFF17)’s Along came Love, is set in a seaside village in puritanical France after the second world war. There, single mother Madeleine (Anaïs Demoustier, Smoking causes coughing, November, and Incredible but true, AFFFFF 2023, Anaïs in Love, AFFFF 2022, Alice and the Mayor, AFFFF 2020, Through the Fire, AFFFF 2019 and Jealous, AFFFF 2018), who works in the local coastal restaurant. meets PHD student François (Vincent Lacoste, Smoking causes coughing, and Winter Boy, AFFFF 2023, Lost Illusions and Delete History, AFFFF 2021, My Days of Glory, Room 212, AFFFF 2020, and Lolo, AFFFF 2016).

Along came love

A whirlwind romance follows and they quickly marry, Madeleine realises soon after that although François knows her secret, disclosed to the audience at the beginning of the film, she barely knows him at all. She has a deep-seated fear that because of her secret, she doesn’t have the right to be happy.


With François especially looking for a fresh beginning, the couple move to another French town, Châteauroux, which hosts an US Army base, where they have been hired to run the local bar and dance hall. That rowdy bar and town which sees alcohol-fuelled Americans spilling into the streets at night could not be more different to the quiet, elegant service Madeleine is used to providing in her Breton lace hat at the restaurant she initially worked at.


Jimmy, an American soldier based there (Morgan Bailey in his debut film role), befriends the couple and becomes a close member of the family unit enjoying family excursions with them. However, his presence at times causes a divide between the couple. But love isn’t always easy, and in this case is built on a relationship of understanding and acceptance of each of their pasts. Katell Quillévéré has written and directed a powerful, non-traditional post-war love story in Along Came Love.


The opening scenes of Along came love use archival post war footage of women accused to have fraternised with the Germans having their heads shaved publicly in the streets. Of the decision to use this footage, Quillévéré said “It became very important for me to anchor my fiction in that reality.

Along came Love/ Le temps d'aimer

Interestingly, the way in which Madelaine and François meet in the film is inspired by the story of the writer and director’s own grandmother who she felt had a deep secret and which she uncovered with the help of her partner. That was the starting point Quillévéré says for writing the film.


Along came love is set over two decades, although there are no indications other than the change of actors for son Daniel (Hélios Karyo initially, then Josse Capet and later Paul Beaurepaire (The Crime is Mine)) as he grows up, and the addition of a child of their own in Jeanne (Margot Ringard Oldra). Throughout the film, Madeleine’s son Daniel struggles with not knowing who his father is and a suspicion that he is not dead as his mother claims.


Hélios Karyo and Josse Capet play troubled Daniel very well, especially for their debut acting roles. Also in her debut role, Margot Ringard Oldra is wonderful as the spirited daughter Jeanne who is enchanted by her father’s bureau and his impressive collection of books. Anaïs Demoustier and Vincent Lacoste are flawless in their roles. So too is newcomer Morgan Bailey.


Along came love has a running time of 123 minutes but it felt like it was dragged out in parts. Some tighter editing could have remedied this. Composer Amine Bouhafa’s score for Along came love is also worthy of note. There are two distinct musical themes which are played throughout the film, both with dominant trumpet roles which accompany the couple’s trials and travails. The musical themes are built upon and enhanced throughout the film.


Overall, Along came love is a compelling story of love in a France where not everyone is accepted for who they are, who they love, or what they have done in the past.


Matilda Marseillaise watched a screener of Along came Love


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