An overview of L’Homme qui aimait les femmes (The Man Who Loved Women) by François Truffaut, 1977
Overview by Everard Cunion, 2008
This movie is in French. The DVD has optional English subtitles (among other languages).
The movie starts with a funeral of an aeronautical engineer (or possibly he is a fluid dynamicist) in January 1977. He has also written an autobiography. The beginning of the film is narrated by one of the young women attending (there are no male mourners). She is his publisher.
“To write, to express yourself is also to expose yourself to judgment.”
There has been a serious incident of unspecified nature and the visitors to the wind tunnel are keen to confer with Bertrand, but it is the end of the workday. The guy with the beard is explaining to the visitors that Bertrand (who is at that moment driving away) tolerates only the company of women outside working hours.
Flashback scenes to when he was a boy are in black-and-white. This is his mother. (Yeah, right.)
“Then, with the first ray of March sunshine, as if on cue, as if given the order to mobilise, they amass in the streets in light dresses and high heels.”
The movie is often described as a comedy. It certainly has plenty of laughs and is thoroughly ironic. However, it is not really a comedy. It is the story of a man’s obsession with women. This woman has arrived to baby-sit for Bertrand. Her suspicions are soon aroused. For a start, where is the baby?
This is his publisher. (Yeah, right…) Her response to the rest of Publishing committee’s negative view of his manuscript (she is the only woman on it) includes:
“You say it’s difficult to see what he’s trying to prove. He doesn’t want to prove anything. He simply relates…”