Sometimes, solemn but somehow empty vows of love and devotion are just not good enough, and a simple "I love you" may prove to be insufficient. As a result, Angela, a tall, slender, and graceful exotic dancer, has set her sights on talking her unwilling lover, Émile, into starting a family; however, he seems absorbed with his other passion: cycling. But, Angela wants a child, and she takes no for an answer. Could Alfred Lubitsch, a handsome neighbour and Émile's bosom friend, lend a hand? And, what happens when a pressing demand turns into a misunderstanding, and love transforms into jealousy?Written by
It's always fascinating to watch Godard operate outside of his beloved gangster/noir thing, just to see if he can he do it- or how he'll do it. "A Woman Is A Woman" not only proves he has a flair for romantic comedy, but that he has made quite an extraordinary one. This movie is so charming and funny that it puts the assembly-line Hollywood romantic comedies to shame.
I've never thought Anna Karina was a great actress, but she is a good one, plus has the added benefit of a natural beauty and presence on-camera that really makes a star a star. She is a one-of-a-kind performer, and her lilting, flitting style fits remarkably well with Godard's roving camera in this light-headed, light-hearted story about a young girl working as a stripper who desperately wants to have a baby with her boyfriend Emile (Jean-Claude Brialy).
But the thing that sets the film apart from others in this mostly trite genre is Godard's unique style: the use of on-screen graphics to give insights into the character's motives, the all-too-sly speaking directly to the camera, the stop-start of the film's scoring, the accentuation of moments and dialogue by music which is extremely well-done. I loved the scene where Karina and Brialy, "not speaking", speak to each other with book notes, concluding in "all women to the firing squad". His conception of the Zodiac club is hilarious; it might be the tamest strip club in world history (it looks like a little Italian restaurant). And Godard is an absolute genius at writing small talk that sounds interesting and funny. It is a rare gift, and he doesn't get enough credit for it. In a genre like romantic comedy, where the subject matter is so trivial, to be able to sustain an entire motion picture just on small talk is no small accomplishment.
I highly recommend this picture for fans of good romantic comedy-it might be the best ever of this type. "A Woman Is A Woman" may be lightweight as Godard's films go, but it's exceptional as well. 3 *** out of 4
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