In I Love America, Director Lisa Azuelos Pays Homage to Los Angeles

Lisa Azuelos’ new drama film I Love America — out today on Amazon Prime Video — tells the story of a French woman who moves to Los Angeles and beings looking for love in her 50s. For Azuelos, it’s somewhat autobiographical.

“I’m in love with Los Angeles,” Azuelos tells MovieMaker.

In the movie, the protagonist, Lisa (Sophie Marceau), soon realizes that the men who are most interested in her on dating apps are much younger than her — so she embraces it. Turns out, Azuelos based the character on herself and her own experiences with dating younger men — one of whom inspired the character of John (Colin Woodell).

“We’re not together anymore, but we are still very much in touch, and he’s one of my best friends,” she says. “It’s not me who’s choosing when I’m on Tinder… it’s only young boys who hit on me. I go up till 65 — I let the door open to 65-year-old people — and from 40 to 65, they’re not interested in me.”

It’s also true that, just like the character of Lisa whose mother is a famous French singer, in real life, Azuelos is the daughter of French singer and actress Marie Laforêt.

And although says dating is a lot more straight forwards in France — and admits that “obviously, Paris is more beautiful” — she can’t help but feel a certain draw to the elements of Los Angeles that others might consider cliche. I Love America is as much a love letter to Los Angeles — a place in which it’s famously hard to date — as it is to America itself.

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“I love the beach. I love the palm trees and I love the sunset. I love the colors. I love the fact that on the walls is ‘love yourself’ or be ‘good to your neighbor’ — all these things that might seem lame, but it’s much better than just horrible things on the walls that we can have in Paris,” she says. “Everybody here has a dream to be here. Everybody has wanted to come here. It’s a very different feeling when all the people have the same intentions that they follow their dreams and their dreams led them here. In Paris, people are like, ‘What the fuck am I doing here?’”

She hopes the movie shows the kinship she feels toward Americans.

“When I wrote it, Trump was was still president, and every American was so ashamed — like, ‘We’re not Trump, don’t judge us.’ And I was like, I’m not judging you. We had a shitty president [too], and I don’t judge you and I still love you guys. This was my way to express that.”

I Love America is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Main Image: Djanis Bouzyani, Sophie Marceau, and Colin Woodell in I Love America, directed by Lisa Azuelos, courtesy of Amazon Studios

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