The Man Who Loved Women (L'Homme qui Aimait les Femmes) (1977) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man Who Loved Women (L'Homme qui Aimait les Femmes) (1977)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Scientist Bertrand Morane, "never in the company of men after 5," seduces women by evening and writes about the experiences in the early morning. Though 40ish and somewhat square, no woman in the town of Montpelier seems capable of resisting his earnest advances. Not much else happens in The Man Who Loved Women, but in the hands of master visual storyteller François Truffaut, the threadbare plot accumulates deep and ominous philosophical resonances. What drives Morane from woman to woman, and what accounts for his remarkable success? Does he secretly dislike women and consider them interchangeable (as one of the more prurient characters charges, to Morane's genuine befuddlement), or is his enthusiasm a kind of celebration? Truffaut refuses to answer plainly, but does drop clues; as his camera focuses on everyday objects, many take on a chilling, otherwordly luster, and coldly foreshadow Morane's fate. A deceptively simple film, The Man Who Loved Women is neither an indictment nor an apology for philandering; rather, it's a courageous, lovingly detailed portrait of a complex, intelligent man suffering from an altogether intractable complaint. This film was clumsily remade in English in 1983 by Blake Edwards, with Burt Reynolds assuming the role played here with such understated skill by the wonderful Charles Denner. --Miles Bethany

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Cast

Brigitte Fossey
as Genevieve
Nelly Borgeaud
as Delphine Grezel
Nathalie Baye
as Martine Desdoits
Sabine Glaser
as Bernadette
Monique Dury
as Mme. Duteil
Nella Barbier
as Lilliane
Anonymous
as Aurore
François Truffaut
as Man at Funeral
Jean Daste
as Doctor
Roger Leenhardt
as M. Betany
Henri Agel
as Lecturer
Michel Marti
as Bertrand as a Child
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Critic Reviews for The Man Who Loved Women (L'Homme qui Aimait les Femmes)

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

François Truffaut's bittersweet 1977 comedy, about the pleasure and the pathos of sexual pursuit, is also an ode to the art of writing.

Full Review… | December 8, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

It is one of the few late Truffauts to muster any weight and complexity.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Charmless.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

It's not top-drawer Truffaut, but it worked for me.

Full Review… | November 16, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

[A] swiftly paced, light-hearted exercise.

Full Review… | November 13, 2007
TV Guide

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.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

"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.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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