L’Homme qui aimait les femmes (1977)

220px-The_Man_Who_Loved_Women_(1977_film)_HommequiaimaitlesfemmesThere’s a strange sense one gets in “The Man Who Loves Woman,” if the viewer knows anything about Francois Truffaut and his obsession with the fairer sex and fear of the sex less fair. Claude Brialy, in his biography speaks of Truffaut as a man who loved woman so intensely that he could barely stand to shake hands with a man. In his Truffaut’s film, a man is plagued with his obsession with women; it even brings about his demise.
Whether he loved woman or not, Truffaut’s character takes it to new extremes of stalking and detective work. It is funny and sad, at the same time, and I was stricken at times by its sincerity. The film casually throws out diagnoses for our hero: “you must hate woman;” “this is a story of a man’s ego;” “this is a story of a man—an ordinary man, and therefore full of contradictions.” Each might be as true as the next and a scene late in the game fails to settle out issues the way one might hope, and therefore becomes an odd, clunky number which doesn’t seem to add much to the film.
Still, this late in the game, one wonders if Truffaut was finally examining his lifelong passion outside the cinema. And what determinations he had made when he decided he had a go picture.
As for the film itself, it is a lesser Truffaut. There are much better to be had, although this one is both the same and totally unique. Kind of like a woman.

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