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|Index||12 reviews in total|
Here is a picture that, for every conceivable reason, shouldn't work -- but on a purely emotional level, it does. Most viewers could be easily misled (and disappointed) by expecting a light romantic comedy or a wild sex farce. Instead, Blake Edwards and his co-screenwriters offer something entirely different, a picture far more complex, meaningful, and thought-provoking than what we might anticipate.
"The Man Who Loved Women" tells a sad, sad story about a middle-aged man (Burt Reynolds in one of his finest performances, as David Fowler) who drowns in isolation thanks to a rare ability: he's forced and driven, by instinct, to glimpse the sacredness and inner beauty of almost every woman he encounters. Yes, on some levels, his circumstances lead to a hedonistic paradise. But his feelings also prevent him from ever making a commitment, and isolate him from the joy of knowing one woman exclusively.
For that reason, a melancholic canopy hangs over the entire film and takes the front seat to humour. The story begins with David Fowler's death, and every event we witness onscreen is tinged by our knowledge that Fowler's obsession with women will eventually kill him. A slow, heavy, stringed theme song, Mancini's "Little Boys", plays softly throughout the film, and Fowler's words (in voice-over narration) constantly remind us of the deep, incurable loneliness that plagues him.
All of this might sound heavy-handed -- and it very well could be, if it weren't for the sexual fantasy and wild Edwards comedy that flesh out the story and provide relief. The melancholia and comedy work together, and Edwards achieves a delicate balance of mood --a bittersweet aura.
I've heard one criticism (see Ebert's review) that many of the story's psychological elements are impossible. Though a few scenes might suffer from exaggeration (hundreds and HUNDREDS of women attend David's funeral), one could easily dismiss the story -- as I did, at first --because so many male viewers *lack* Fowler's ability to care for women unconditionally; we want to believe that it's impossible for a contemporary Don Juan to exist. But that simply isn't tenable. My own theory about the film -- (and it's just a theory) -- is that Edwards may have pulled inspiration for Fowler from the late John Derek, another man worshipped and adored by women, who interacted with Edwards during the filming of "10" (1979).
Edwards and his co-writers lend a gentle touch to the film by crafting Fowler's character against-the-grain; while we might expect a narcissistic hedonist, he's just the opposite -- a warm, gentle, soul with only the sincerest motives. It's easy to understand why women are attracted to Fowler, from his first appearance onscreen. And, oddly -- male viewers may never begrudge Fowler his affairs, only applaud -- because his narration and his gentle spirit confirm the fact that he really does worship and adore everything about the girls who walk in and out of his life. "I keep thinking," he says sadly, "about all the women I'm never gonna know..."
In one of the film's most revealing and effective moments, Edwards allows us to glimpse a woman, at the funeral, who is the complete opposite of a "10" -- fat, homely, depressed -- undesirable. We have the distinct impression that her external appearance didn't matter to Fowler -- that he only looked into her heart and perceived her beauty. It lends credibility to psychologist Marianna's (Julie Andrews) observation: that David did, indeed, love all of the girls, equally and unconditionally.
Blake Edwards in the Sixties was an amazing director, with a strong visual
flair. I mean he directed "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "Days of Wine and
Roses", and "An Experiment in Terror"! But somewhere in all that Pink
Panthering he did in the Seventies he lost that visual flair and became
boring. The only film in the last thirty years that showed any of the old
panache was "Victor/Victoria". It's like there are two Blake
That's not to say that this film is terrible - it's just that I think he could have done so much better. It's so dull to look at - despite the presence of his enchanting wife Julie Andrews, and one of Burt Reynolds' best performances. Also of note is a very young Kim Basinger displaying a strong flair for comedy. But Edwards' pacing of the action is so slow and ponderous that the moments of slapstick comedy seem completely incongruous and fall completely flat.
Come on Blake - give us some more of that old magic! I know it's still in you.
In the climactic moment of one of the great film scripts of all time, "The
Verdict" by David Mamet, attorney Edward Concannon (James Mason) implores
the judge, "We can't be expected to accept a (photo)copy when we have the
Many consider Truffaut's 1977 "L'homme qui aimait les femmes" a wonderful film. Anyone who has seen this original, need not venture to this 1983 remake, the land of Blake Edwards, his family and his friends.
This film likely falls under the category of 'the studio still needs another film from me (Edwards) and I have not a single inspired idea'.
Don't get me wrong. I'm an avid fan of Edwards, and consider many of his films (notably Days of Wine and Roses, Breakfast at Tiffanys, S.O.B., and Operation Petticoat to ALL be amongst my favorites. Of course the Pink Panther series is a masterpiece in and of itself.
But this film is weak, and uninspired, laden with narrative-I've never really figured who came up with the idea of opening a 'comedy' with the main character's funeral, and an accompanying heart-wrenching eulogy from one of his lovers.
Don't accept a copy when the original is available.
The title of 1983's "The Man Who Loved Women" tells you everything you
need to know: Burt Reynolds plays David Fowler, a man who sees the
beauty in practically every woman and therefore can never settle down
with one. As such, he ends up isolated and on the couch of a therapist,
Marianna (Julie Andrews). The entire movie consists of Marianna trying
to figure David out and help him while the latter relays several of his
amorous connections in flashback. When the therapy is over will THEY
start a relationship? Fowler's many women include Kim Basinger, Marilu
Henner and Denise Crosby.
I encourage you to read Nsouthern51's review from April 25, 2001, on IMDb because it expertly interprets and evaluates the movie. While the film could be considered a romantic comedy it's also a tragic study of a Romeo and therefore there's a pall of melancholy despite the light tone and amusing elements, including black comedy. Speaking of which, while I don't think adultery's something to take lightly and therefore don't find it very amusing, it ties into Fowler's folly and blindness due to his weakness, women.
The good thing is that Fowler's not all bad or unlikable (Burt is his typical amiable self in an atypical role). He's not the conventional lothario who uses and abuses; he genuinely loves women and is fascinated by them. He loves them so much he can't bear to be with just one because that would mean he'd never know hundreds or thousands of others, but then he aches because he doesn't want to hurt the women he leaves.
The best part is Fowler's salvation of a new-to-the-trade prostitute whom he ends up hiring for his sculpting business. He nobly resists acting on his carnal instincts and therefore sacrifices for her good. The girl is played by a pre-Star Trek (TNG) Denise Crosby and she looks great.
At the end of the day the movie features Reynolds in an unusual role, which might turn off fans, and the strange mix of melancholy and amusement may turn-off others. It's not great, but it's good enough for what it is and therefore worthwhile. It's similar to Altman's "Dr. T and the Women" (2000) so if you don't like that movie you probably won't like this one.
The film runs 110 minutes and was shot in Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, CA.
In the style of STARTING OVER, Burt took on another romantic lead in 1983's THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN, which starred Reynolds as a confirmed bachelor whose obsession with the opposite sex has driven him into therapy with a female shrink of course (Julie Andrews in a low-key performance). Though not as good as his performance in STARTING OVER, Reynolds does exude a great deal of charm in this film and get solid support from Andrews, Marilu Henner, and in an early and very amusing role, Kim Basinger as the undersexed trophy wife of a wealthy Texan (Barry Corbin)who likes her sex with an element of danger. This comedy that was co-written by Blake Edwards and his own psychiatrist is worth a look.
It is true that this re-make does not measure up to the French original, but it is still not half as bad as some reviewers make it out to be. In fact it is quite good if you try to disregard the more "American" details. It starts out with a funeral and works its way back from there. Reynolds is enough of a hunk to make the story plausible and Julie Andrews was never more beautiful. All thruout the film, Blake Edwards succeeds in maintaining an infinitely "sad" note, which works excellently and undoubtedly adds to the quality of the film. 6 out of 10 points.
I just saw The Man Who Loved Women, and I found it to be a rather delightful movie. It's a plot you don't see to often; it's focused on one man and his love of women. The movie may seem pointless, but you'll get it once you see the ending. I won't ruin it here, but it was kind of depressing and unexpected, and looking back on the movie, I enjoyed it much more afterwards than during. It's not the most exciting movie. You won't see any amazing or dynamic cinematography or camera angles that are all to creative. In fact, it seems more like a movie from the '70's than 1983 in the way it was filmed, but if you like the kind of movies that you enjoy much more after having looked back on everything, I think you'll find this a rather enjoyable work.
THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN begins with a sculptor roaming around LA trying to
find out what makes women tick. The sculptor is played by Burt Reynolds,
one of the biggest movie stars in the world, so I guess the women will pay
attention. Actually, the movie begins with his funeral and we see woman
after woman in all shapes and sizes, roaming up the cemetery grass to pay
tribute to this guy.
Now any movie with an opening like this had better feature one helluva guy so we immediately cut to the scenes of Burt seducing woman after woman, while providing some tender advice on life to keep them warm when he's gone in the morning. I really liked Burt Reynolds performance in this movie. He shows in this movie that when he wants to he can be a fine actor. We know Burt Reynolds has an amazing screen presence but it's nice to see him in a movie where he doesn't wink at the camera to show us how much fun he's having. His scenes with the feminist shrink(Julie Andrews) are funny as Reynolds exhibits every male symptom in the book. The women are Cynthia Sikes, Marila Henner and Kim Basinger to name a few, and rest assured that they're all(especially Basinger)very beautiful.
If the movie had stayed true to this idea it might've been special.but it degenerates into a series of three's company set ups and grows tired. After Basinger stirs Reynolds interest they have a romp in her husband's condo. The husband arrives and Reynolds must lurch around. I couldn't count how many scenes there were like that. It's at this point we realize the movie isn't going to be as incisive as it promised. It's silly how Reynolds keeps getting into the same situation with the jealous husband and not very funny either, not even when he say, glues his hands to the steering wheel.
Another major problem is the chemistry between Reynolds and Andrews. There's no heat between them and I suspect that maybe they didn't get along with each other on the set. This isn't the type of a man she'd go out with, canon of ethics aside. It's awkward at the end when Andrews drops everything to join Reynolds on vacation when we don't even believe he's gotten to first base. I can't quite recommend THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN, it's just not true to itself. The movie introduces us to an interesting man looking to make real discoveries and ends up with a bunch of people who aren't right for each other.
STAR STAR (out of four)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
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Another point that nsouthern51 made was that David Fowler 'drowns in isolation.' This in fact a bit of a complex statement and somewhat contradictory from the films point of view. This statement seems to suggest, or hint at, that David is either cutoff from the world or is completely unknown to the world or both. Perhaps, both statements are true. Perhaps, both statements are false. Or perhaps, one is true and the other false, or vise versa.
Let's return to the film for a minute. David Fowler has known hundreds and HUNDREDS of women and is always looking for more. How can he be so lonely? If he was in-between women, he had the semilive-in girlfriend Courtney Wade. So he always, or almost always, had someone around him at home. If he was lonely, by knowing hundreds and HUNDREDS of women, he surely had telephone numbers to call and surely one would respond. Or reverse it, they could be calling him. With all thoughs women around, he would have to fight them off with a fly swatter or girl swatter. In the work place, we see that he had several assistants. So how can he be so lonely and cutoff? David Fowler wasn't a hermit like Howard Hughes nor an oddity like Glen Gould. From the film, we see that his work was well-known. He lived in L.A. but has a commission in Houston, Tx. So we see that he wasn't just a local artist, but someone who is well-respected on a national level.(This might be debatable.) From Sue the baby sitter, we learn that he is known in academia circles, 'Lipschitz, Henry Moore, and me.' We also see from the film that he wrote a book. I'm sure the book was meant for a national audience and not just one or two copies made for a private edition nor several hundred printed for a local audience. This again proves or demonstrates that he was well-known or was wanting more name recognition and wasn't trying to cut himself off from the world.
In summary, do these contradictory statements mean anything? There might be something more going on at a much, much deeper level.
When we get into the actual review, we will have to return to these statements. There is a lot to these statements. Like I said folks, this is one of most complex motion pictures ever filmed. This complexity that I speak of is not the complexity of cameras, film, lights, etc., of a "Lord of The Rings" type epic but of an quiet inner complexity ideas the likes of which this film "The Man Who Loved Women" has no equal. There are things going on in this movie that have never been done before and will never be done again. Ever.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This review is being extensively rewritten.
While rewriting this review, I learned with great sadness that Blake Edwards had passed away. My deepest sympathy and condolences go out to Julie Edwards and to her entire family. The world will certainly miss a truly great director. I would have dearly, dearly loved to have met him while he was alive.
"The Man Who Loved Women" should be considered one of the world's greatest masterpieces. The film is one of the most brilliant, most deceptive, and one of the world's deepest films ever filmed in Hollywood or anyplace else in the world. The film should have won multiple Oscars for all concerned including Best Picture. And if it were at all possible Blake Edwards should have been awarded a Nobel Prize for the screenplay for its extreme complexity, extreme subtlety, and richness of symbolism. The screenplay is worthy of world class literature status and should be in every class room anthology that students have to read. If they can study Harry Potter in school, they sure should be able to read Blake Edwards extreme masterpiece.
It is my intention to prove to you and to the rest of the world that that this film deserves all that I claim and more! And at the end, I would very much like future reviews to indicate how many stars, Oscars, and Nobels that they would award. And yes, you can totally disagree with everything that I will explain.
I was reading one of the boards and noted one post that asked, "What is this movie about?" I can honestly say without ego that I'm probably the only person in the world who can understand about 99% of the movie. That is why this movie has had such great fascination for me over the years and why I believe so strongly that Blake Edwards should have been awarded a Nobel for the screenplay. This movie which on the surface app ears so utterly simple is, in fact, quite complex.
But first, you must understand the purpose of the film. Along time ago, there was an unauthorized biography of Julie Edwards running around. In the book, Blake Edwards says something to the effect that-and this not a direct quote- that his wife is one of the deepest and most pro found women in the world. This fact is something that I've known for years long before the book came out. Anyway that leaves a problem. A big problem. And that is how to show it or pay tribute to her. I think Blake Edwards found away. In fact, I know he found a way.
And now to the review, there are two major motion pictures and one minor motion picture interwoven into each other to form one great masterpiece. The minor motion picture is "The Man Who Loved Women." The other is Irving Stone's "The Agony and The Ecstasy" which based on the life of Michaelangelo. The other I will discuss later. In other words he used a minor motion picture to hide two major motion pictures behind it. And to prove my point, I have to discuss plots to two movies. If you have not seen either, DO NOT PROCEED. We are going to use DF for David Fowler and MA for Michaelangelo. So let's look at these "forced coincidence". These are not my words but come from another source. 1 DF Sculpture,writer. 2 MA Sculpture,writer. 3 DF Sports a beard. 4 MA Sports a beard. 5 DF Trouble with women. 6 MA Trouble with a women. 7 DF Trouble with a block of stone. 8 MA Trouble with a ceiling. 9. DF Goes to Marianna to get help. 10. MA goes to Contesstina to get answers 11. DF tells Nancy "thats my work." A piece of sculpture in the center of the floor. 12. MA Charleton Heston in voice over goes over the life work of Michangelo at beginning of movie. 13. DF Roy tells David Fowler, "I don't completely understand it." (Refering to David's sculptor.) "Something like my wife." 14. MA Michaelangelo complains to Pope Julius II, "why you send these fools to judge my work?" 15. DF Nanc y says over the phone' "Understand your time problem." 16. MA Pope Juliu s II asks, "when will you make an end?" 17. DF David has commission in Houston,TX not LA. 18. MA Michaelangelo has a commission in Rome not in Florence nor Bologna. 19. DF There is a work area at his house and shop. 20 . MA There is a work area at his apartment and Sistine Chapel. 21. DF Mariana comes to nurse maid David back to health at his place not hers. 22 . Contesstina comes to nurse maid Michaelangelo back to health at his place not her place. 23. DF David goes back to sculpting. 24. MA Michaelangelo goes back to painting. 25. DF David complains to Mariana about hyperventilating aka an attack to the lungs. 26. MA Pope Julius II whacks Michaelangelo on the back aka an attack to the lungs.
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