6.3/10
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4 user 7 critic

Man Is a Woman (1998)

L'homme est une femme comme les autres (original title)
Klezmer musician Simon Eskanazy wrestles with his gay nature. His conservative, orthodox family, Parisian bankers, expects him to carry on the family name by marriage. However he's ... See full summary »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Antoine de Caunes ...
...
Rosalie Baumann
...
David
...
Oncle Salomon / Uncle Salomon
...
Père de Rosalie / Rosalie's father
...
Simon's mother
Catherine Hiegel ...
Mère de Rosalie / Rosalie's mother
Stéphane Metzger ...
Daniel
Edwin Gerard ...
Yitshak Baumann
Noëlla Dussart ...
Nathalie
Jean-François Dérec ...
Jean-Rene
Sacha Santon ...
Samuel Baumann
Gilles Atlan ...
Elisser Baumann
Irene Zilbermann ...
Lady in red
Jesse Joe Walsh ...
Rabbi Fisher
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Storyline

Klezmer musician Simon Eskanazy wrestles with his gay nature. His conservative, orthodox family, Parisian bankers, expects him to carry on the family name by marriage. However he's irresistibly drawn to attractive young men, from gay sauna visitors to, surprisingly, the hunky son of devout New York uncle Salomon. Still, Simon secures his considerable inheritance by wedding Rosalie Baumann, that ideal lover's sister, a grand family affair. This 'investment' will only pay off if it produces another generation, but the marriage goes sour. Written by KGF Vissers

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Genres:

Comedy | Music | Romance

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Release Date:

11 March 1998 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Man Is a Woman  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by La folle histoire d'amour de Simon Eskenazy (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Bublitchki
Performed by Giora Feidman (clarinet), Dariusz Swinoga (accordion), Guido Jäger (contrebass),
Michael Marx (guitar)
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User Reviews

 
Not exactly a mess...
25 February 2002 | by (St. Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

...but not exactly even-keeled, "Man is a Woman" didn't really solve any of its philosophical ideas or storylines. It tried to bring up how one man balances being gay and Jewish by having him marry for a bribe. It tried to show how a Reform Jewish family and an Orthodox Jewish family comes together to celebrate their children's wedding. It tried to show a gay man living in a straight man's world. It tried to show the myriad differences between men and women, and how they view relationships. It tried to show all of these things, but came up short on all counts. Maybe it had too many elements to hash out, and the writer(s) simply couldn't come up with plausible/logical conclusions?

Then there are the storylines: Simon's obvious love for his cousin David; Simon and Rosalie's marriage; Simon's marrying for a bribe. None of these were satisfactorily resolved. Because the philosophical ideas were all over the map, the stories couldn't be concluded, either. Most disappointing was Simon and Rosalie's marriage; there was no real conflict there, outside of the tension within her family (which, by the way, was neatly and quickly resolved, then thrown out the window as an afterthought). Rosalie suddenly gives up without really confronting the source of her discomfort--Simon. Thankfully, this wasn't really played up as a standard "gay man gets married and, through the love of a good woman, goes straight", but it turned in that direction (phooey). And since there really weren't any provisions attached when Simon's uncle first made his offer, I wasn't really surprised when he announced to Simon's mother he'd only pay after the birth of Simon and Rosalie's first child (I was expecting something more extreme, such as the child's 18th birthday). Then there was the scene where Simon was rehearsing what he wanted to say to his cousin David; having been there, I understand the preparation and tension involved, but this it went nowhere in this movie. It seems to have been inserted as an afterthought, as if to show Simon in a less-than favorable light (I thought he was more contemptable for having accepted his uncle's bribe).

Overall, it seems this was three separate storylines that were forceably woven together. There were a few enjoyable moments but nothing really to recommend it to others.


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