The Man Who Loved Women [DVD]
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Romantic comedy directed by Francois Truffaut. Bertrand Morane (Charles Denner) is a charming ladies' man, who loves every woman he meets. However, when he decides to reveal all in his autobiography, he encounters the beautiful and elusive Genevieve (Brigitte Fossey). Could he really be falling in love at last?
A deceptively simple film, Francois Truffaut's 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. 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 40-ish and somewhat square, no woman in the town of Montpelier seems capable of resisting his earnest advances.
Not much else happens in them film, but in the hands of master visual storyteller 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, otherworldly lustre, and coldly foreshadow Morane's fate. 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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Top Customer Reviews
However, here the story is in the hands of a master. Truffaut's deft directorial touch poses myriad questions about the nature of the relationship between men and women; about love, commitment; physical attraction and sexual politics. The film begins with the funeral of Betrand Morane (Denner), attended only by women and then tells the story of his relationships with most of them. Interestingly, he really does love the women - he can't seem to help loving them. He is not a philanderer, nor is he interested in conquest or sexual gratification: the film is, in fact, strangely asexual.
He decides to write about his experiences, the book is dismissed by the male reviewers but his manuscript is accepted by the sole female with whom Morane inevitably falls in love. As the story moves forward and, in doing so, flashes back, one grows to like Morane more and more; he is a sweet, bewildered character who is also a man loved by women. This film will not be for all: if you are the Hollywood blockbuster type; if you hate subtitles; if you like your films with nice, neat endings then this is not for you. However, for lovers of the European school of whimsy, this is a must; not Truffaut's best - but even his second best is better than most.
Watching now i can see its still a charming and sweet film. Charles Denner is sweet and charming, almost like a little boy lost (well, he was neglected if not abandoned by his slutty mother) He seems so innocent in his pursuit, so earnest about his captures.
The jammy b. The man loved by women more like. Cus they all say Yes.
"Its hard to refuse you anything. You have a special way of asking. Its as if your life depended on it" says one smitten women. And its true - he does. He's not just putting it on to get them in the sack. Well, he is. But at the time he must believe it. The woman in front - before his captivating gaze - is captivated, is the be all and the end all. Of this moment, of this very moment of capture, of conquest - she is It.
He captures these women like a painter or a poet would: with devotion to the visual image, with utter fidelity to the language of love: "the way she moved...she undulated like seaweed"; he distinguishes "between the tall stems and the pretty blossoms"
He's leched or loved after (take your pick) just about every woman he comes a across. What he seems to like is not women, the whole woman - just their legs with stockings on and stilettos. Or perhaps a specific aspect or attribute. Cus every woman has some particular thing about them that can be loved. Some bit, some part, some posture or pose. You divide that bit off - and discard the rest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very funny simple film...have watched it 6 times so far...these 'realistic-cinema' films makes very evident the stuff churned out by Hollywood appear very surface like; empty with... Read morePublished on 1 May 2014 by graham
Nothing much happens but still enjoyable; must be a French film! No nudity or bedroom scenes despite the title suggesting that this must happen! Read morePublished on 23 Jan. 2012 by katyn1940
This review is for the Burt Reynolds version. For some unknown reason, reviews of the French version have also been inserted into this page for the American remake. Read morePublished on 14 May 2010 by ergoatlantis