The Man Who Loved Women (L'Homme qui Aimait les Femmes) (1977)
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as Delphine Grezel
as Martine Desdoits
as Mme. Duteil
as Man at Funeral
as M. Betany
as Bertrand as a Child
Critic Reviews for The Man Who Loved Women (L'Homme qui Aimait les Femmes)
François Truffaut's bittersweet 1977 comedy, about the pleasure and the pathos of sexual pursuit, is also an ode to the art of writing.
It is one of the few late Truffauts to muster any weight and complexity.
The movie is a supremely humane, sophisticated comedy that is as much fun to watch for the variations Mr. Truffaut works on classic man-woman routines as for the routines themselves.
Audience Reviews for The Man Who Loved Women (L'Homme qui Aimait les Femmes)
A scientist writes about book about his sexual exploits. As I watched this film, I wondered if it was supposed to be satirical comedy or if there was something I wasn't understanding, that it was saying something complex about sexual politics. Even as the film drew to its conclusion, I couldn't figure out if Francois Truffaut was taking me for a ride that ended nowhere or if I simply wasn't smart enough to be in on the joke. I feel the same way now. What is certain is that this is a lesser Truffaut film, not up to Antoine Doinel par, but nevertheless the images are sharp, the plot unfolds with ease, and the acting is quite good; Charles Denner is uninhibited and occasionally charming. I wish the film would have more fully explored his few attempts at love over lust, but considering I don't really know what Truffaut was shooting at, I don't even know if this a fair criticism. Overall, I suppose this should be on one's checklist of Truffaut films to see, but there are so many better ones.
"The Man Who Loved Women" is an engaging, easy-to-watch story, but if you're a film buff looking for bold hallmarks of the French New Wave, you won't find much. Really, the only deviant touch is one self-reflexive scene in which some book publishers discuss the autobiography which the protagonist has submitted. It's as if the film's script is already being critiqued within itself. Otherwise, the plot structure involves flashback and is somewhat episodic, but this is simply the best way to tell the tale rather than an aggressive "challenge" to the viewer. So, your best bet is to take off your scholar's robes and just *enjoy* this gentle, bittersweet fable of an unlikely, not-so-dashing womanizer who wins all hearts through sheer sincerity and persistence. One advisory: There is not nearly as much titillation as one might expect, given the subject matter.
Far from Truffaut's best films, but still a very nice and funny recollection of the romantic and ultimately sad story of a daring womanizer in the search for the meaning of love.
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