The Man Who Loved Women (1977) Script

(woman) One funeral is just like another.

However, this one is special.

Not a man in sight. Only women.

Nothing but women.

Yes, I think Bertrand would have enjoyed the sight of his own funeral.


This is the moment of truth.

From there he's in a good position to take a last look at what he liked best in us.

I remember something Bertrand used to say.

(Bertrand) Women's legs are compasses which circle the globe, giving it its balance and harmony.

Here's your laundry, sir.

Mrs Carmen, there is something in your hair.

Thank you.


6720 RD 34.

Yes, we could find the car's owner, but we couldn't give you his name.

That's a real nuisance. You see, I gave someone a lift in my car.

She left something in my car.

A camera.

She left a camera on the seat. I want to return it.

And you don't know her name? Only her numberplate.

I'm sorry, it's not permitted. It's impossible.

You see, if she had damaged your car, your insurer could track her down.

When I returned, the front right wing was completely smashed in.

(man) Didn't the person who hit you leave a note or anything?

Nothing. But I saw the car taking off and I got the number.

- Good. Give it to me. I'll write it down. 6720 RD 34.

Thank you, Mr Morane. We'll find the owner and call you back.

- You can call me at my office too. Right. I'll call you.

- We must find this woman. How do you know it's a woman?

- How do I know? Yes, how do you know?

Just intuition!

(loud whirring)

(woman) Bertrand, telephone!

Your insurance agent.

Did you find the owner?

It's not so simple. The car was rented from Midi Car.

As there is no police report, you'd have to sue Midi Car. It's not easy.

OK, we'll sue Midi Car.

Yes. Midi Car!

(Bertrand) After all, it's a car rented at Midi Car that smashed my right wing.

So if I ask for the name of the driver of that car, it shouldn't be illegal.

We can't let you look at our files.

But if your insurance files a claim and sends us a bill for the repairs, there should be no problem at all. No problem? No problem?

But believe me, ladies, it's not just a matter of being reimbursed.

My car was parked. I wasn't in it.

Some driver hits it, smashes the wing and just drives off.

Well, I want to find this idiot and tell him what I think!

I understand, sir, but I can't change the rules for you.

Well, I'm disappointed, but I won't give up.

Goodbye, ladies.

Sir! Sir!

I saw your car, and I think you are right.

Here is the name of the person who rented the car.

Miss Desdoits, avenue Paul Riquet, Béziers.

Béziers.

Thank you. That's very kind of you.

If there's any problem, come back and see me.

My car is seriously damaged.

I wanted to ask Miss Desdoits if she is in the habit of hitting parked cars.

(man) I'm shocked. My daughter will be back for lunch. Can she call you back?

No. I'm calling from Montpellier. I'm coming to Béziers to talk to her in person.

(ringing)

(footsteps)

- Yes, I'm listening. (Bertrand) May I speak to Miss Desdoits?

Wait. I'll call my daughter.

Martine.

(whispers) It's the same man who called before.

Hello? What's this story about a smashed car?

Don't worry, miss. My car is OK. It's fine.

I needed a pretext to find you. That's the truth.

There never was an accident.

Ever since I saw you in Montpellier I can't stop thinking about you.

I should've talked to you right then, but you were so beautiful that I would have been speechless for sure.

I had trouble finding you, but I don't regret it. I'd have searched all of France.

I've come a long way to see you. Don't refuse to meet me.

I need to see you. I think you're playing a big joke on me.

Frankly, miss, do I sound like somebody who is joking?

No, you're right.

But tell me, how did you get my name and address?

From Midi Car.

Ah, I see. Where are you now?

Five minutes from your house at the Monte Carlo Café.

- Say you'll come. Yes. I'll come.


Excuse me, sir. Do you own the car that wasn't in the accident?

Yes. Sit down.

Fresh lemonade.

Great idea. The same for me.

You were more talkative on the telephone.

Does it surprise you that I came, just like that, to such a strange rendezvous?

I don't know if you'll answer me sincerely, but now that I am seated in front of you aren't you disappointed?

Absolutely not.

There's something different about you.

Perhaps your hair.

Weren't you wearing a scarf?

What did you like about me when you saw me that made you go to all this trouble?

It's hard to explain.

Well, there you were in this laundry.

Then I saw you leave.

You were wearing a pale-green silk dress with a scooped neck and fringes at the arms and the knees.

The movement of your walk and your dress was so beautiful to see.

When you crossed the street, I thought you were about to conquer the town.

It was really my dress you wanted to find, not me.

It was everything.

Listen, I don't want to prolong a misunderstanding that could embarrass both of us.

Look at this photo. That's me, and that's my cousin Marianne.

She's the one you saw in Montpellier.

She does have a gorgeous body.

She was just visiting here.

She lives with a Canadian near Montreal and at the moment she's on a flight home.

I'm sorry.

I can give you her address. I don't think she'll be back for another two years.

Oh, I know Montreal.

I was there a few years ago.

I'm sorry to have bothered you.

Well, I'll go back to Montpellier.


If there's any problem, come back and see me.

She's parked down there. Thank you.

Good evening. Remember me?

Did you find the person from Béziers? Yes, it's OK. I wanted to thank you.

Yes, yes, I really must. You didn't have to do it.

Listen, may I invite you to dinner?

You don't have to repay me. It's not to repay you.

It's my pleasure. It's to get to know you.

Well, in that case, yes. Which evening?

Why not tonight? Tonight? You mean now?

(Bertrand) I don't know this island. Does it really exist?

Oh, yes. It's a... I don't know, a tiny island where some women came to live together, alone without any men.

You mean there are only women?

Nothing but women?

How many?

I don't know. I read an article on it.

There are about 100.

I thought of going there, but it would have been crazy.

I like men too much.

Is that why you agreed to have dinner with me?

Oh, I don't know.

I think it's hard to refuse you anything.

You have a special way of asking.

It's as if your life depended on it.

But perhaps it's just your technique.

The lady-killer who gives the impression that he's not one, that he's serious.

I'm not a lady-killer.

They disgust me. I think they're disgraceful.

I don't like lady-killers either, but, all the same, we ended up here together.

This is nice. I make toys in my spare time.

They're not bad. You could definitely sell them.

Look.

This style of glasses would look better on you.

The ones that you have are too wide for your face.

How do I look?

Oh, yes! You're right.

Not bad at all.

Do you have to leave? You can spend the night here.

No. I have to go.

But you look sad. Are you? No. I'm not sad.

It's just that tomorrow I have to get up early.

(scribbling)

Here's my telephone number.

You can call me if you want.

No obligation. We're free, right?

Yes, we are free.


Bertrand. Yes, it's me again - Isabelle.

I typed the envelope to be sure you wouldn't tear up my letter when you saw my handwriting.

Why the silence for a month?

If you didn't want to see me again, you should've said. I won't bother you again.

Call me if you feel like it. If not, goodbye. Isabelle.

(ringing)

- Hello. (woman) It's your wake-up call. It's 7 am.

Thank you. Oh, don't hang up.

- It's you. What a relief. Relief? Why?

- I'd know your voice in a thousand. There are only 27 of us.

I only want to be woken up by you.

You know that last time they had someone else wake me?

I'm sorry to hear that.

If it happens again, how can I reach you? What's your name?

- I can't say. I must hang up. Please, one more minute!

- I'm going to call you Aurore. Why Aurore?

Because you wake me at dawn.

(giggles)

(hangs up)

Hello.

The old styles are coming back.

Oh, yes. As before.

I think they're prettier.

But no matter what, women will always be women.

Remember when miniskirts became popular some years ago?

Men were wild about them, but not me.

I thought "They can't get any shorter now, so they'll have to get longer."

That's just what happened. It really is prettier, isn't it?

I'm not the only one who thinks so. Will these Paris fashions sell here?

Come back and I'll let you know.

Your things are ready, madam. Go straight in.

I'll be right with you.

Did you notice her gorgeous breasts? No, I didn't.

Sensational. They used not to be, then she went to a clinic in Japan...

I have to go. Goodbye.

Goodbye.

I forgot. Those old-fashioned nightgowns arrived.

Tell that friend of yours, if you see her. I don't see her any more.

You wonder whether some women are interested in love.

With others, it's written all over their face.

One day there will be something between that woman and me.

I'm not in any rush.

(loud whirring)

(whirring drowns out speech)


Wait a moment.

- (man) Hurry, Philippe. (man #2) We thought so.

We'll wait for the report. We'll need to talk to Morane.

Ask him to come for a drink.

That's all we can do until we get the report from the captain.

Where did Morane go? Philippe is getting him.

I'm going to call Toulouse again and we'll see what happens.

What's with Morane? He's not coming. I knew he wouldn't.

You'll never see him in the company of men after 6pm.


(phone rings)

Hello.

You asked to be woken up at eight. Get up, lazybones.

Ah! Aurore, I've got you back at last.

Where were you yesterday morning?

Asleep in my bed.

- In your bed. All by yourself, I hope. That's none of your business.

You're being cruel. And you don't know the worst of it.

Yesterday, a man's voice awakened me.

Oh, yes. They've hired men now. It's mixed.

Mixed! It's become mixed!

That's an amusing term.

But to be woken up by a man is unbearable.

- I nearly cancelled my subscription. (laughs)

I love your laugh.

Aurore, we have to meet up. Just name a day.

No, absolutely not. You'd be disappointed.

But why?

I'm pigeon-toed, hunchbacked and one eye is smaller than the other.

How sly! You're just pretending!

Just when you're ready to meet me you tell me how ugly you are so I'll be pleasantly surprised.

You're wrong. That's not it at all. You'll never see me.

I'm your 7 am Aurore, and that's all.

(hangs up)

What happened? Did the morality police make you remove the black lingerie?

Far from it! I sold out. They went like hot cakes.

I've got to run. Stay a minute!

(phone rings)

- Hélène? Oh, it's you. Just a minute.

Everything is ready, madam.

Excuse me.

- I'm sorry, but I'm not free tonight. Oh, you're not free tonight.

Well, that's OK. I'll eat, then go to a movie.

- Good. I'll call you tomorrow. OK.

- Sorry for calling so late. Bye.

Sorry. I wasn't listening, but I heard.

Instead of eating alone, why don't we have dinner together?

And then, if you want, we can go to the movies.

Why not?

Then it's yes? I'd love to.

Pick me up at closing time. OK.

I was very shy as a kid, too.

You, shy? I don't believe it! That's like saying that I'm a virgin.

I said when I was a kid. No, you'll never make me believe it.

It's true. My veins would swell, my face would turn green.

What shall we do now? We could go to my place, I suppose.

I suppose!

That's it.

Listen, I have to talk to you.

I don't want to play games with you or to play the innocent.

I like you a lot.

I hope we'll remain friends after what I tell you.

Of course. What is it?

Well, I know men well. At least I think so.

And I know what would happen if I went to your place.

I know what you expect of me and I know you wouldn't get what you expect.

So you'd be disappointed and angry.

Let me explain, Bertrand. I'm 41 years old.

I'm very sentimental, but I'm only attracted to boys younger than myself.

(footsteps)

(whispers) I like young boys.

I don't pick them up at the school gate, but I don't even look at a man over 30.

Time is very hard on us.

Our faces aren't beaten up like a boxer's, but it's the same thing.

It happens to everyone. I find it hard to accept growing old.

Or rather I can't accept that love adjusts to it.

Does that sound absurd?

I'm sure you are attracted to young girls with young skin, who don't have this... there.

And there.

Isn't that true?

There is a certain logic in what you say.

However, when I was younger, I was attracted to older men.

Too bad we didn't meet each other then.

Yes and no.

I would have probably found you too young then.

You're not angry with me? No. Absolutely not.

I really enjoyed spending this evening with you.

I'll take you home.

My God! I look like a witch tonight!

No, you don't look like a witch.

I find you beautiful.

Really? You find me beautiful? I have for a long time.

May I kiss you?

No, a real kiss.

Goodbye.


So the pretty bra salesgirl can only make love with soft-skinned boys.

It's not my first failure of course, but it's the most unexpected.

I always thought it would happen with a young girl.

But a woman my age rejecting me!

That's why I'm going to try to write this book.

Also because, with all the photos I've accumulated, I might start to forget.

I've already forgotten so many of their names, even though I remember the events connected with their faces.

For many years I kept diaries, but I threw them all out when I decided to leave Paris.

I'm going to try to remember as far back as possible to my first woman - the one you never forget.

As is the case for most men my age, my first erotic experience was in a brothel.

I had waited a long while on a busy street, then had chosen a woman at random when there was no one passing nearby.

She took me to a room.

There I waited for instructions, or at least for a sign as to how to proceed.

Then I noticed that she was staring at me.

This isn't your first time with a woman, is it?

Yes, it is.

You should have chosen a prettier girl. Prettier and younger.

Wait here.

Wait for me. Don't move.

During her absence, I noticed an empty shelf.

A library without books.

This is Ginette.

Thanks to that generous gesture, I'm lucky to have a good first memory and an enduring fondness for streetwalkers.

It would be too naive to believe that virtuous women walk fast.

I remember a Parisian whore who walked the streets at top speed.

Her ruse to create doubt among her clients.

As they followed her, they would wonder if she was a whore or not.

And they would go up to her in the dual hope of conquering a lady as well as a professional who would simply quote her price.

My mother walked fast as well in a black, pleated skirt and a look on her face that would discourage any man.

Her attitude toward me seemed to say

"I would be better off with a broken leg than with this little idiot. "

Nevertheless, I remember precisely the day she saw me at the park entrance talking to a little girl my age.

She stopped for a second, then continued on, as if I were a complete stranger.

Back at home she asked me "Who were you talking to?"

"Who was that flat-arsed little goose?"

I remember it as if it were yesterday. You don't make up things like that.

But why is it a good memory?

The little goose was called Ginette.

She could seldom go out because she had to take care of her baby brother.

I had always suffered being an only child.

I loved other children, so Ginette would invite me over.

To spice up our games of hide-and-seek she would turn off all the lights, which would invariably make the baby howl.

(baby screams)

It was thus in playing with Ginette that I realised... that the company of women was indispensable to me.

I need to be with them, or at least to look at them.

Nothing is more beautiful than a woman walking, as long as she is wearing a dress or skirt that moves to the rhythm of her stride.

Some women walk towards a goal, an appointment perhaps.

Some are just passing the time of day.

Some are so beautiful from the back that I hesitate to catch up, so as not to be disappointed. But I'm never disappointed.

When they turn out to be ugly, I feel somehow relieved because, unfortunately, I can't have them all.

Thousands of them walk along the streets every day.

Who are all these women? Where are they going? To what appointment?

If their hearts are free, their bodies are for the taking and I can't pass up the chance.

The truth is they want the same thing I do. They want love. Everyone wants love.

All kinds of love - physical love, sentimental love, or just the tenderness of a person who will no longer look at anyone else.

Not so for me. I look at everyone.

Like some animals, women go into hibernation.

They disappear for four months. No one sees them.

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.

And life begins again.

At last one can rediscover their bodies and distinguish between two categories: the tall stems and the pretty blossoms.

Here is a tall stem.

A pretty blossom.

Slender legs are beautiful, but I'm not against thick ankles.

I might even say they attract me because there's the promise of greater harmony at the top of the leg.

The mysteries of the mail are unfathomable.

Unfathomable.

Legs...

The legs of women are compasses...

Compasses...

The legs of women are compasses which circle the globe, giving it its balance and harmony.

I recently realised that in winter I'm attracted to big breasts.

However, in summer small breasts suit me fine.

There are two pretty blossoms arm in arm.

What do all these women have?

What do they have that is different from the ones I know?

Well, the difference is that they are unknown to me.

(phone rings)

Hello.

(Aurore) Wake-up service! Get up, lazybones. It's seven o'clock.

You're kidding? Seven already?

I hadn't realised. It's unbelievable.

I wasn't sleeping. I spent the entire night writing.

- To whom? To me? No, I'm writing a book. Well, I'm trying.

A book. Fantastic! I hope you mention me in your book.

We'd have to meet first.

You don't give up, do you?

Aurore, I'm not kidding. I feel very troubled.

Maybe it's because of this book.

I want to know you. I need to.

I'm so Ionely.

Up to now I've said no. Now I'm saying maybe.

I think about you a lot, you know.

I'll think about it.

- What are you wearing? (laughs)

No, don't laugh. It's very important.

I'm wearing trousers. Disappointed?

You want to know if I'm naked under my jumper. I'm not. I'm wearing a Lejaby bra.

I know. Lejaby's the one that closes in the back, has adjustable straps and a plastic S-shaped clasp.

Well done! You've won 1,000 francs. What would you prefer?

I'd prefer to see you as soon as possible.

I have to hang up. My supervisor's coming.

(hangs up)

Those two believe in Santa Claus. Today it's true love, but in seven years she'll run off with another guy or he'll be with a younger girl.

The house will be sold and the children scattered.

Bertrand, that fellow the other day was a lawyer, right?

Yes. His name is Blady.

Could you give me his address? It's not working out with my wife.

I want a divorce.

A divorce? When did you decide that?

Two months ago, but I'd thought about it last year.

If I were you, I would hold off before going to a lawyer.

You have a wife. She seemed nice to me. You have a small son.

I know everyone's getting divorced these days, but there's no need to follow the trend.

What do you want? Your freedom? And what will you do with it?

If I were you, I'd wait two or three months.

That's my advice.

But if you want Blady's number, I'll give it to you.

Denise!

Excuse me, madam. Mrs Duteil, please. At the top of the stairs.

Thank you.

Mrs Duteil? Yes, sir.

I was given your address. I understand you do freelance typing.

Yes, do come in, but quickly because the cat's always running in and out.

Is it a thesis? No, it's not. I'm not at university.

It's sort of a manuscript. The first draft of a book.

Oh, a literary manuscript? Yes, in a way.

I've done those before. There's already a first draft.

Yes, I typed it with two fingers, so there are a lot of mistakes.

And I'm too impatient to make copies.

Only 60 pages. The first five chapters.

I'll bring the rest as I finish them.

I suppose you want five copies of this.

I charge 9.50 francs per page. It'll be ready in three days.

When I moved to Montpellier one of my first mistresses was Fabienne.

She taught at the music academy.

Fabienne and I agreed on almost everything.

Although our relationship lasted quite a long time, we parted friends.

No. To be honest, we didn't part on such good terms.

I had almost forgotten that unpleasant evening.

Before she arrived, I had a fire burning in the fireplace. Women love that.

She said to me "You're kind at heart. In fact, very kind."

"If you'd love me just a little, you'd be perfect. "

- Hello, taxi depot? Yes, hello.

I want a taxi. 12, rue des Peupliers.

Hold on, sir. We'll find you a taxi.

Thank you.

- I can stay if you want. Hello? Rue des Peupliers?

- Taxi in three minutes. Three minutes. Thank you.

I can sleep here with you.

No, it's best this way.

I'll see you Friday? No, I don't think so.

I don't want to see you any more.

I know I don't offer you a lot, but, all the same, it's too unequal.

I'm tired of this one-way relationship.

You're right, of course.

I'm free. You're free. Everyone's free.

I know one thing: you don't even pretend to care about me. You're unbelievable.

Not only do you not want to love, you refuse to be loved.

You think you enjoy love, but it's just the concept you love.

I'll admit I was happy with you.

Remember our second date when you asked me "From now on, can I put my hands on you?"

"Can I touch you everywhere? Under your dress, your skirt?"

I was shocked. No one had ever spoken to me that way.

I know what I should have done - told you nothing and kept the baby.

You wish you were elsewhere, don't you? Don't worry. I'm leaving.

I've got something in my shoe.

Five years ago I hurt a man and I regret it.

I was too young to understand.

Now I'm sure of one thing: he who hurts gets hurt.

I'm sure of it. You will suffer, Bertrand.

Who says I haven't already?

No, I don't think so. You wouldn't be so hard.

You'd be more considerate.

I'm not angry with you.

I think it's best for me to stop seeing you now.

Kiss me again.

You're a fool, but when I caress myself I'll think of you.

Fabienne was right.

In order to win her, I let her believe I'd be part of her life, which wasn't the case.

I've managed to avoid that mistake ever since.

After Fabienne's departure I found myself alone again.

That was quite fine with me because I've always liked solitude.

Nevertheless, two days later this solitude led me to go and see a documentary film.

That night the real show was not on the screen.

The usherette had beautiful legs and she knew it.

She kept shining her torch on them instead of showing the way.

I wondered how I could meet her.

Two days later I returned to the cinema.

It was a Saturday evening and the cinema was full.

She put me in a folding chair right next to her.

Since the sound was low, I could hear her crossing and uncrossing her legs, her stockings rubbing against each other.

That noise so excited me that it gave me the courage to give her a note asking her for a rendezvous.

My pretty usherette was a young widow.

Was it the operetta "The Merry Widow" that made the word "widow" intriguing to me?

I must add that Nicole was a deaf-mute.

The first time I was at her house I found myself playing with a radio receiver.

She told me in sign language it belonged to her son who was away at school.

She had had him punished, so she could spend the day with me.

This cruel information made me very sad.

Was it really impossible to find pleasure without hurting someone?

The unhappy fate of this poor child sent me back in time to the saddest period of my childhood when my mother would leave me alone for days to be with her lovers.

My mother kept a record of her love affairs.

Going through her belongings one night, I found a stack of photos and letters along with a very revealing document: a list of her love affairs with names and dates.

"But I, Bertrand, son of Christine Morane, 30 years later, what was I doing with my numerous mistresses, my lists, my drawers full of photos?"

"An unending collection?"

"Isn't this book I'm writing nothing but a detailed list?"

(buzzer)

(woman) Hello. He'll call back in two hours, sir.

Thank you, Liliane.

Good morning. Good morning, Liliane. Good morning.

(buzzer)

(Liliane) Hold the line, sir.

I must write about Liliane in my book. We have a good relationship.

It goes back to when she was a waitress in a gloomy restaurant where I sometimes went for dinner when I was alone.

There you go. Thank you.

Do you smoke? I quit a month ago.

Here's the menu. Thank you, Germaine.

I'm not called Germaine. Janine.

Or Janine, either. That's OK. I'll find out.

What would you like?

Give me today's special. The veal stew.

Not the veal. Oh.

Then give me the chicken and a green salad.

Chicken, green salad. Very good, sir.

What would you like? I'll have the veal stew.

Stew. Very good, sir.

One veal stew.

Are you from Montpellier? I'm just passing through.

Here you are. I'll bring you the salt.

Thank you.

Right, that's enough!

That's no way to treat a customer, Miss Liliane. You're fired!

Luckily, an operator's job was available at the lab.

I got Liliane the job.

She was never my mistress. She is the exception to the rule.

Perhaps proof that friendship can exist between men and women.

Mr Morane, someone from the police.

Hey, Bertrand, someone's looking for you. The police.

The police?

Mr Morane? That's me.

I came to talk to you about Mrs Grézel. Do you remember her?

Yes.

Come this way, please.

Mrs Grézel is about to be released from prison for good behaviour, but there's a problem.

One of the prison guards informed us that she often spoke of you, sometimes in a threatening way.

So be careful. The prison authorities asked me to tell you to be on your guard.

Well, that was all, sir.

Goodbye. Thank you.

So Delphine Grézel is out of prison.

I certainly do remember her.

The first time I saw Delphine was in a country restaurant.

I was alone and, as usual, I was checking out the women.

Waiter!

Waiter! It's coming, sir. It's coming.

Two lamb chops shouldn't take this long! I'll go and see.

A restaurant is an ideal place for budding lovers, but dreadful for married couples.

Those two are bored to death, but they don't dare admit it.

Since this fellow is incapable of amusing his wife, I'd like to try.


Will he dare to start without her?

No, of course not.

What first drew me to Delphine was how she moved. She undulated like seaweed.

She didn't look at all like a woman who would one day end up in prison.

She sensed my interest and responded by casting looks in my direction, which promised her complicity.

I'm not hungry.

Yes, the promise was a certainty.

Waiter!


- Is this Dr Grézel's? (Delphine) Yes.

- How lucky you answered. Who is this?

I followed you from the restaurant. I must talk to you.

- Where are you calling from? From the café across the street.

- Listen, come down and join me. What?

Yes, it'll only take five minutes. It's very important.

- Find an excuse to go out. What time is it?

What time is it? It's 11.20.

So, are you coming?

I don't know. Come up the stairs. Don't take the lift.

- Wait on the third floor. I promise nothing. OK.

I left my bag in the car. While I'm there, I'll park it in the garage.

- (man) Don't bother. I'll go. It's OK. I'm already out the door.

Hello. Who are you? What do you think I am?

I called you to see... Let's not stay here. Come.

I hope you realise I came here against my will. Oh, yes!

I came to avoid a scandal. My husband is well known in this neighbourhood.

We can have a drink at my place. It's five minutes away.

Yes. OK.

Let's go to your place.

Don't think that you're going to get me drunk.

You can drink what you want.

I also have mineral water, fruit juices...

What sign are you?

Your zodiac sign? Aquarius.

Turn back immediately. But...

Take me home!

I've been told to avoid Aquarians.

Very well.

Here we are.

You're home now, so I'll say goodbye.

You know what would be nice? I have to put the car into the garage.

You could go with me. It's not safe at night.


Once again, goodbye. Wait. I have the right to know.

Tell me why you did this. It's simple. I saw you in the restaurant.

I thought you were pretty. I couldn't take my eyes off you.

And you looked at me, too.

- I took that as a come-on. I looked at you?! I didn't even see you.

You can't say that you didn't look at me.

Even if I misinterpreted it, you can't say that.

There's no point trying to convince you. So... you don't like me any more?

Careful. That's my neighbour. Hide. He mustn't see you here.

Kiss me again.

I noticed you immediately at the restaurant.

When I got up to go upstairs it was to attract your attention.

It took me a while before I understood what Delphine wanted.

What she liked, what she needed was to drag me into precarious situations, where we risked discovery.

Each time after making love - in a doorway, in a park or in her car - and she had shown me the wildest abandon, she would suddenly ruffle her hair and say:

My God!

The things you make me do!

At the start, she was accommodating.

Then she was jealous. Actually she was both.

If a pretty girl came towards us she'd tell me to look.

That girl is pretty, isn't she? Graceful.

Oh, yes.

Ooh!

You disgusting rat! Why don't you just leave me here and go after her?

Come on, Delphine!

I'll go first, but I forbid you to look at my legs.

Lovemaking puts colour in your cheeks, but for Delphine this was true to such an extent that she had to wait a while before she could go home.

We'd noticed the only thing that helped was for her to stick her head out of the car travelling at 75 miles an hour.

Remember the first time we saw each other in that restaurant?

How pitiful you looked, sitting all alone, reading a newspaper.

I wasn't pitiful at all. I like being alone, even in restaurants.

And I love to read.

Which do you prefer: to read or to kiss me?

Oh, come on, Delphine!

I kept asking her to come to my place.

But that was too easy for her complicated being.

She preferred to choose the time, the place and the way.

(fashion-show announcer calls out numbers in English and French)


That tie couldn't have walked off on its own.

What tie? The tie I was wearing!

The striped one.

I think Maurice suspects something.

He found your tie under my pillow. My tie?

The one I lost in the dressing room?

Yes. I'm the one who took it.

But you knew I was looking for it.

Oh, don't get angry.

I did it because I wanted something of yours, something I could hold while I slept.

Look.

It looks like a real apartment.

Come.

Come here.

Come on, Delphine!

Delphine was becoming too dangerous.

One night, when I came home, I noticed a body lying on the landing.

Delphine!

Delphine!

What are you doing here?

I fell asleep waiting for you.

How long have you been here?

I don't know. They wouldn't open the door.

What is this? Is it yours?

Yes. It must have dropped out of my bag.

They wouldn't let me in. But there's no one in my apartment.

Don't make up stories.

I heard a woman walking about.

A woman walking about!

But there's no one there.

It was double-Iocked.

She must have locked it from inside.

That's the kitchen.

That's the bathroom.

And there's the bedroom. See, there's no one here.

You're right.

I was worried.

You haven't caressed my legs for a week.

Delphine, you yourself forbade it. Do you believe everything you're told?

I love your shoulders.

Don't you think you should change your sofa?

It's beginning to look old.

It's in terrible shape.

The springs are completely gone.

It's disgusting.

When I think of what's gone on on this sofa!

Don't deny it!

Why do you think I never wanted to come over?

You make me sick! I feel sorry for you.

You're exaggerating. I have friends over. They sit on the couch.

You don't have friends! You only have mistresses!

Your friends are old mistresses.

If this couch could talk, it would mention every name in the phone book.

Really, Delphine. Why do you work yourself up into such a terrible state?

For the past three months I've been asking you to come here.

And I'm glad you finally came.

Is that true? Yes. It's true.

It's true.

(Delphine) I know why you've been avoiding me.

I love you too much.

Men don't like to be loved for their bodies.

For ages I had made sure that no woman spent the entire night in my bed.

And yet this morning I woke up next to Delphine.

I knew it was her jealousy that had made her come to my place.

But now, hearing her humming in the apartment, I felt we had finally reached a simple and harmonious relationship.

What are you reading?

Is it interesting? Yes.

Well, I think that book is worthless.

How do you know? You haven't read it.

What do you know? I'm not an idiot.

I'm not unliterate. The word is "illiterate", not "unliterate".

This book has just been published.

It arrived in Montpellier yesterday. I know I ordered it. I really wanted to read it.

You're lying through your teeth!

Anyway, you're just pretending to read.

You're just reading to annoy me.

You're reading to hurt me.

Yes, yes!

So you won't have to talk to me.

You disgust me.

I had to go down to the street in my pyjamas to retrieve my book.

When Delphine asked me "If I were free, would you live with me?" like a coward I said yes.

Well, that very night she was free. She had shot her husband.

But the next day she was no longer free. She was in prison.

Luckily her husband was only wounded, but justice had to run its course.

I tried to chase from my thoughts the role I played in this newsworthy crime of passion.

After Delphine's arrest I went through a gloomy period. Gloomy and chaste.

Delphine had made my life difficult, but, at the same time, exciting.

She had a gift for living.

Now that she was no longer annoying me, I felt a void.

I even missed her fits of jealousy.

I had to admit to myself that with Delphine there was never a dull moment.

Since she was many women in one, she could not be replaced by one woman, so I had many casual liaisons of no consequence.

I remember some of them with pleasure.

For a short time women came and went in my life.

Yannick, a tall girl who I liked to look at with her hair piled on top of her head.

This hairstyle gave her a migraine, but to please me she was willing to wear it that way for an hour or two.

At a country fair I met a beautiful woman who said her name was Alphonsine.

She was the star of a bizarre act.

Lying in a coffin lined with mirrors, she gave the impression of revealing her skeleton.

She would proudly say that her act was so well faked even doctors believed it.

Lucette was a statuesque delight with an old-fashioned look.

She hated her nose and kept talking about having it fixed.

Not without difficulty, I convinced her not to.

Evelyne thought that I jumped on her the moment she came through the door.

One day she surprised me by arriving in a dress with porcelain buttons left to her by her godmother.

It took me 13 minutes to free her body from those 137 buttons.

This pretty redhead was my neighbour. Her name was Maïté.

Now that I'm writing this book I realise what attracted me to her was watching her read.

I owe my love for books and reading to my mother.

Once and for all she had forbidden me to play, to move, or even to sneeze.

I was not allowed to get up from my chair, but I could read all I wanted, as long as I didn't make noise turning the pages.

She used to walk half-naked in front of me.

Not to provoke me, but rather to reassure herself that I didn't exist.

In giving me her love letters to post, she showed me confidence I didn't deserve.

They seldom reached their destination.

"My love, I don't understand your silence. "

"I haven't received a letter from you in two weeks. "

"I wonder whether mine ever reach you."

"The mysteries of the mail are unfathomable. "

Unfathomable!

Have you had this burning sensation for long?

Since yesterday. You were wise not to wait.

It's silly to suffer needlessly.

In short, you have gonorrhoea.

A mild infection that will disappear in three days.

Do you know the person who gave it to you?

No. I guess you wouldn't tell me even if you knew.

It doesn't matter. Try to remember who you had sex with in the last 12 days and tell the person you were with to go see a doctor.

It's contagious. Very contagious.

To tell you the truth, in the past 12 days I've had sex with half a dozen women.

You're something!

I see your problem. You hate women.

Such youth! Such health!

But look what's happened now.

When I was young I was like you.

I was never allowed to eat a whole bar of chocolate.

It made me furious.

I told myself "When I grow up I'll eat a bar of chocolate at every meal."

When I finally realised my dream, I came down with jaundice.

You can't make love all day. That's why work was invented.

I see you're looking at my books. I'll show them to you.

So... no alcohol.

Especially no beer.

And remember, no carbonated mineral water.

And, of course, no sex during the entire treatment.

Here's your prescription.

Since you like books, I have something to show you.

Look at this one.

The Evolution of Trout Fishing.

It's my book. My first and last.

I can see, it's not fishing but hunting that interests you.

I had the book published at author's expense, of course.

"Author's expense"? You mean you paid the publishing expenses?

Yes. It's too specialised a subject to interest publishers.

I'm curious because I'm writing a book. A sort of novel.

How should I go about it?

Well, if it's a novel, you can send it to publishers, but don't get your hopes up.

If you don't have a newspaper column or a lot of pull, it's almost impossible to get a first book published.

But you can always try. You're young. Try your luck.

There's nothing more satisfying than seeing your own book published. Nothing.

Except, perhaps, giving birth to a baby which you have carried in your belly for nine months.

But that's something we can't do.

At least, not yet.

(sighing, groaning)

Last night I had a terrible nightmare.


(phone rings)

Hello.

Hello. Get up, lazybones. It's seven o'clock!

That's impossible! My alarm clock must have stopped during the night.

No, it's 3am. I felt like talking to you in the middle of the night.

I'm alone on duty.

- Are you angry? Shall I hang up? No, no, no. Certainly not.

You had a very good idea.

May I ask you something?

Yes.

- Turn off the light. OK.

I feel like talking to you in the dark.

Just hang up when you're fed up listening to me.

- Did you turn off the light? Yes, I did.

- But tell me... No, don't ask me anything.

I just felt like it, that's all. Are you alone?

Yes.

It's almost dark here, too.

I turned off the lights. Only the switchboard lights are on.

Listen, why don't you come over here tonight?

- I was already there. What do you mean?

- Just after midnight, on my way to work. I don't believe you.

I scratched gently at your door. When you didn't answer, I left.

That's unbelievable. Didn't you see the bell?

Of course I saw it, but I was too shy to ring it.

- Up to now, I almost believed you. You want proof?

You live at 12, rue des Peupliers, on the fourth floor of an old building.

There's a stained-glass window.

So you really did come?

Yes. I didn't ring, but I scratched.

I was afraid the bell would make too much noise. I hate noise. I hate light.

- Listen carefully. I'm listening.

- Are you listening? Yes.

One night, if I come back to your place, you'll hear me scratching.

Don't make a sound. Don't say a word.

Turn off all the lights. OK?

OK.

But why don't we make a date right now?

Are you still there?

Yes. I'm listening to your breathing. Listen to mine, too.

Your lips are too far away. Move closer to the receiver.

It's fantastic!

Tell me, why did you come by here?

I told you. I felt like it.

Aurore, we can't go on like this.

Make a date, any time, any place.

- What if you're disappointed? That's my problem.

It's mine, too. I'm not sure you would recognise me.

- In a thousand. How about in 25?

Why?

Today at exactly noon I'll be at the Post Café.

I won't make any move towards you. It's up to you to recognise me.

And you? How will you recognise me?

You're average height, thin, dark, hollow cheeks, mysterious looks.

You move your head like a little bird. You often look preoccupied.

- Sometimes you even look like a killer. So that's what I'm like.

I know everything about you.

The women just come and go in your apartment.

- Seldom the same one. It's scandalous! Now, listen...

Yes, it's scandalous. A regular parade. Shall I tell you their names?

(hangs up)


Rendezvous cancelled. Goodbye, lazybones.


What's the matter? Why are you crying?

If I had a pretty red dress like yours, I wouldn't cry.

My sister won't let me use her skates.

She's afraid you'll spoil them or that you'll hurt yourself.

I hate her. Sometimes I wish she weren't my sister.

It's a pity to cry like that.

I'm sure you're unhappy.

Nevertheless, when you cry like that, don't you enjoy it just a little?

Tell me. No, I don't.

Think hard what you feel deep down.

You're crying, you're very unhappy, but at the same time you're enjoying it a little.

Am I right?

Yes, it's true. I do enjoy it a little.

What's this book? May I see it?

Fantômette and the Witch's Island. Is it good?

Was it your idea to put this cover on it, to protect it?

That's good. You're right to love books.

How old are you? I'm nine.

And you can't wait to grow up?

How old would you like to be? Well...

17. 17?

You're nine.

You'll be 17 in eight years... in 1985.

Last night I was at home, not alone.

As I went to the kitchen to get something to drink there was a surprise waiting for me.

Delphine.

I was going to leave.

I could hear someone with you.

Yes, there is someone.

May I?

How did you get in here?

I wanted to surprise you.

It's my birthday today.

I didn't want to be alone tonight.

Look, I brought something.

Well, open it.

We'll have a drink, then I'll leave.

You know... I changed a lot in prison.

I wouldn't go back there for anything, but it really taught me to love life.

(popping)

When you're locked up all day, all alone, you realise what's important and what isn't.

You have only one desire: to be outside and to walk around.

Well, nothing else matters.

(giggling)

When I think of all the crazy things I did to you.

But I changed a lot.

Deep down.

Admit that I was a pain in the neck.

Not at all. I always found you charming.

Bertrand, what are you doing?

Oh, listen.

Let me bring her some champagne.

OK, but not like that. Take off your raincoat.

Oh, no, it's impossible.

I can't take off my raincoat.

(giggling)


(doorbell)

Hello, Mrs Duteil. Am I disturbing you? No, please come in.

I came to pick up what you've typed and I've brought you some more.

Thank you.

And this is for you. For me? What is it?

They're chocolates. I know you like them.

Thank you, Mr Morane, but you embarrass me.

I thought you might come today. I wanted to tell you something.

Well, it's awkward, but I don't want to continue typing your manuscript.

Oh, it's much more interesting than my usual work.

But having to read and reread all of this embarrasses me.

It disturbs me, even interferes with my sleep.

Please understand, Mr Morane, I'm not a prude.

I was married. And though I do live alone, I do have a love life.

I think I'm quite open-minded.

But I can't go on typing about all those interchangeable women.

It makes me sick.

Well, I had to tell you.

But it'll have to be finished, so I'll give you the address of a colleague.

I understand how you feel.

Anyway, who knows if I'll ever finish the book.

Yes, yes.

Tell me, how much do I owe you?

To write, to express yourself is also to expose yourself to judgment.

The typist's condemnation of my book was all the more painful because it was done with kindness.

My very first reader had blacklisted me.

First of all I stopped writing. I lost interest in everything.

Then I began to read 19th-century autobiographies.

How do you write about yourself?

How did others do it? What were the rules?

I realised there were no rules, that each book was different and expressed the author's personality.

Each page, each sentence of an author belonged to him alone.

His writing is as personal to him as his fingerprints.

This discovery gave me courage.

I took a week off work and locked myself up at home.

I moved the typewriter into the bathroom so I wouldn't be distracted by the daylight, the sky, the sun or the nightfall.

Images and memories rushed through my mind.

I typed as best as I could with two fingers.

The motion of the machine made my thoughts flow.

It was as if the book was writing itself.

I wrote about what seemed important or what seemed merely odd.

The ancient past, the recent past, even the encounter with the crying little girl.

"If I had a pretty red dress like yours, I wouldn't cry."

From that inner journey, I emerged like a sleepwalker.

I felt exhilarated, exhausted, walking on air.

Stiff, yet laughing with fatigue.

On September 9th I collated the manuscript and wrote "The End".

Only the title was missing.

Without wasting any time, I took the first one that came to mind.

The one that summed up the absurdity of my life: "The Womaniser".

Taking Dr Bicard's advice, I sent four copies to the top four Parisian publishers.

(doorbell)

(woman) Sir, we regret to inform you that your manuscript, which we read with interest and which has potential, has, however, not been retained by our committee.

We're returning your manuscript to you. Sincerely yours.

BETANY PUBLISHING

The Womaniser by Bertrand Morane.

Well, this one gets sent back to its author.

Sent back? What do you mean?

We could at least talk about it. I'm sorry, Geneviève.

I have four reports here on the book.

Yours is the only positive one.

Really? You didn't like this book?

Frankly, I can't get interested in a man who takes himself for a lady-killer.

Here, Mr Bétany. I'll take a paragraph at random.

Read it yourself.

"Somehow, I always manage to establish contact with women without having to approach them directly."

"However, the pretty blonde I was following would have got away if I hadn't decided to go up and talk to her. "

"Once again, fate intervened, offering me an indirect way of contacting her. "

"The store had a bulletin board inviting customers to pin up their personal ads. "

"My pretty shopper was offering her services as a baby-sitter. "

(doorbell)

Good evening. I'm the baby-sitter. Very good. I'll show you around.

This is the living room.

I'm going out for dinner tonight.

I'll be back around midnight.

OK. And the baby? He's in the next room, but he's asleep.

I'll bring you some juice.


What's the meaning of this?

Where's the baby?

The baby... is me.

Well, if I understand it, The Womaniser - I don't like the title at all - is the story of a skirt chaser who has never grown up.

Yes, more or less.

The best part of the book is when Bertrand Morane talks about his childhood and his relationship with his mother.

Unfortunately, that's less than a chapter.

And psychologically, it doesn't hold up. It's full of contradictions.

You don't know what to think of him.

Is the man sick, obsessed, pathological or a disillusioned romantic?

He's just a man! It's true the book is filled with contradictions.

But, since the book is about reality, it's obvious these are the contradictions of life.

You say "It's difficult to see what he's trying to prove."

He doesn't want to prove anything. He simply relates, without discriminating between details that mean something and those that simply show the absurdity of life.

Mr Bétany, this is a good manuscript. Instinctive and sincere.

The author doesn't make himself a hero. Many of the anecdotes are disparaging.

"He's mixed up. He pounces on all women."

Yes, he's mixed up, but he knows it.

And it's often the women who pounce on him.

Like the one who was always jumping on him in public places and then would say "The things you make me do!"


Flight Air Inter 5212 for Paris-Orly boarding at gate one.


Of course I sent this book so it would be published.

But I expected it to be more difficult.

You're sure it can be published the way it is?

I'd like to rewrite it, improve it, perhaps.

You're free to do so, but I think it would be a mistake.

In fact, it's the simplicity of your style I like.

It's clear you wrote it for yourself, not to enhance your image as a writer.

Anyway, you'll have the proofs to correct in a few weeks.

The only change I'd suggest has to do with the title.

We don't like it very much.

The Womaniser.

I liked it better than The Skirt Chaser.

I had considered The Ladies' Man, but in retrospect, I don't like it. It's...

It's conceited. No, it's no good.

But it's odd you should have thought of it because I wanted to suggest this.

The Man Who Loved Women.

Oh, that's good.

It's a good title.

Yes, it's intriguing. It's good.

But why "who loved"? Why the past tense?

It just sounds better.

And also, I think it works well with your style of writing.

You're not afraid to tell a story. You're probably right.

Anyway, I believe in leaving it up to the experts.

- It's agreed. The Man Who Loved Women. It's perfect.

Is the hotel room we got you satisfactory?

Yes, yes. Very good.

It's a long time since I was in Paris. No doubt you prefer Montpellier.

Reading your story it seems to be the city with the most beautiful women in France.

Now I can check that out myself.

Mr Bétany bought a printing house in Lunel. Your novel will be printed there.

If you want, you can come with me. I'd love to.

I suppose you have friends in Paris. Yes.

Well, in so many years...

- Is Josiane there? (woman) She's in the studio.

Thank you.

I'm going to take you to see the layout artist.

She designs all our covers.

She'll show you what she has in mind for your book.

So we'll meet again in Montpellier.

Everyone here liked your book. It was accepted unanimously.

Well, almost.


Bertrand, didn't you see me in the lobby?

How are you? Fine. Just fine.

You, too, I hope.

I was so shocked to see you. I didn't expect it.

I'm in Paris for a few days.

Do you still live in America? No, that's over with.

I live in London now. I found a good job there.

Tell me about you.

Well, it's the same thing. I'm here for a few days.

I live in a city in the South.

That city has a name. It's called Montpellier. Someone told me.

Why are you always so mysterious?

I have to go. Someone's waiting for me. Me, too.

But since we're here, can't we talk?

OK. I'm listening.

I don't intend to give a lecture or a monologue.

I think we should be able to talk together, the two of us.

Is that too much to ask?

No. I'm just afraid I have nothing to say.

You're not making it easy for me.

I often think about you, Bertrand. And always with tenderness.

I often started to write to you, then decided it was best not to.

You were right. I see.

So you still hate me?

Believe it or not, I've held no hard feelings towards you.

I never thought it was your fault.

I had to do what I did. Either that or go crazy.

I'm not exaggerating.

Obviously, I didn't know it would be so painful for you.

You hid your feelings so well.

But even after I heard about you, I did not regret my decision.

I knew you loved life and would fight to pull yourself together.

It's true. I fought and pulled myself together.

At first, thanks to medication.

Sleeping pills, tranquillisers.

There are even pills to make you cheerful.

It's not very romantic, but it's amusing that broken romances can be cured by the medicine chest.

It's amusing.

No, it's not amusing.

Perhaps you've forgotten, or maybe we remember things differently, but you were the one who initiated the split.

I'm sure you had been preparing for it for a long time.

All the books you took from the house and deposited I don't know where.

And then, oh, I remember!

Each time you took a trip, I was never allowed to help you pack.

You always wanted to show me your independence.

The attitude "I like my solitude. I don't need anyone."

In reality I needed only one person.

You.

But I didn't realise it.

At first I loved you without knowing it.

And when I knew it, it was already over for you.

Yes, it happened little by little.

I know it's pointless to rehash everything, but I think I should have been absolutely frank with you, more explicit.

You didn't need to. Your face said everything.

Towards the end I observed you. Your eyes looked younger. Prouder, too.

That's how I knew I was losing my place in your life.

At that time, had I known how to be direct, I would have said to you "Véra, you're freeing yourself of me."

"You're lucky. I envy you."

Yes, I did it to free myself from you, but it wasn't easy.

I went through a horrible period.

I spent all my days in the dark, reflecting on our relationship.

When did things start to go wrong?

I no longer knew who I was.

When I walked down the street I had the feeling of total unreality.

I couldn't feel my head or my body.

It was a black hole.

For a long time, I would go out of my way to avoid Place Clichy.

By the way, they knocked down the Gaumont Palace.

You'd be sad to see what they've done to the Place Clichy.

At first I didn't know you had left Paris.

Every time I went to a restaurant I would say to myself

"What if he's here eating alone, with the newspaper?"

You would have preferred to see me with someone.

Oh, I did, at Orly.

A young lady with an accent... English, for sure.

She said something funny and I immediately recognised your laugh.

I left in a hurry. I could have sworn you saw me.

No.

I would have remembered.

You were always affectionate with me.

Yes, you, too. You were always affectionate with me.

But now I no longer have the right to touch you.

No right? You talk like a lawyer.

It's true. I no longer have the right to touch you.

Bertrand, perhaps we can have dinner together after four years.

Not four. Five years.

We can't hurt each other now.

We can finally become friends. No, Véra.

I don't think so.

Anyway, I never go to London.

And I don't see why you would come to Montpellier.

I think about you sometimes, too, but less and less often.

And it's normal. We've almost become strangers.

We have to accept it. We have to leave it like that.

It's OK. It's better.

Let's not say goodbye. You leave first.

I'll wait here for you to leave, then I'll go.


(ringing)

- Hello? (Bertrand) It's you.

I thought there'd be one chance in ten of you being in your office.

No, actually nine chances in ten. During the awards we always work late.

It's too bad your book won't be ready for Christmas.

It doesn't matter.

I have to talk to you. The more concrete everything gets, the more worried I get.

Honestly, everyone loves the book.

I don't care... Well, no, I'm pleased, of course.

What I have to say is confidential, but I trust you. Something incredible happened.

I've just realised I wrote this book because of one woman.

But she's not even mentioned in it. I have to rewrite the manuscript.

No, don't do that.

I fought for this book, so listen to me carefully.

I've been in publishing nearly ten years. I know writers.

They all worry that they've left out the essential.

You want to write one book and you end up with another.

If this woman meant so much to you, devote your second book to her. Take notes!

What? I'm not capable of writing a second book.

I know you can do it.

Stop putting yourself down.

You have to learn to like yourself more.

- What do you mean by all this? It's very simple.

If you don't like yourself, you can't like anyone else.

I'll explain it better when I see you next week.

- So we're agreed? Do you trust me? Trust? Why?

Trust me about the book and the rest.

OK, you win.

Another expression to erase from your vocabulary.

Look, I just want what's best for you.

See you next week. Goodbye.

Goodbye.

(loud whirring)

Mr Morane is wanted at reception.

One moment, please.

Hello, Mr Morane. My car's over there.

Let's go.

The Man Who Loved Women

(printing press drowns out conversation)

Why are you crying?

If I had a pretty red dress like yours, I wouldn't cry.

Excuse me, miss. May I still make a change?

Yes, sir.

Instead of "red dress", I'd like "blue dress".

If I had a pretty blue dress like yours, I wouldn't cry.

Does it bother you if I drive?

Not at all. I love to be driven by a woman.

I haven't yet discarded all of my male vanity, but I don't carry it to extremes.

I gathered that from reading your book.

You're not a Casanova. You're not a Don Juan.

You know how I see you, despite your gloomy manner?

No.

You don't try to play up your virility.

Look at that. It's awful.

Where are they taking us?

It's a diversion.

You know how I see your book?

As a testimony to man-woman relationships in the 20th century.

You're well aware that it's all changing.

Yes, yes, perhaps.

But I'm not so sure how wild I am about this buddy-buddy aspect.

(sirens)

Up to now, there's always been a sort of game in love.

To me it's indispensable.

There'll always be a game, it's just that the rules are being changed.

The first thing that's got to go is the play for power.

We'll still play, but on an equal footing.

Maybe. Maybe.

Quite honestly, my ideas on the subject aren't clear.

But I feel I'm changing. Good for you!

But don't change too much.

You're not bad the way you are.

I can't remember exactly.

Women think of love in more general terms than men.

But I assure you, we are also subject to curiosity, to sudden urges.

(clap of thunder)

I can tell you now, the first time I wanted you was in the office when you were talking to the layout artist.

Oh, really?

I remember it well. It was hot out.

You took off your pullover.

You had a cigarette in your mouth.

You were so absorbed in the conversation that you did it mechanically.

So you pulled your sweater up over your head without removing the cigarette.

It made me want to make love to you.

The second time I wanted you...

was the next day.

You were in a restaurant, Place de I'Odéon, with Josiane, the layout artist.

By chance, I suppose.

I assure you, I never touched the layout artist.

I didn't say you did.

Though I'm sure she would have liked you to.

In any case, when you see someone attracted to a man that you're interested in, you want him even more.

I don't know if I'm making sense. You're making perfect sense.

- It's enlightening. (clap of thunder)

You smile so rarely, but I love it when you do.

I must be crazy.

Not at all. You seem very level-headed.

Appearances can be deceiving.

(clap of thunder)

Don't come with me. I hate that.

We'll say goodbye here in the car. OK. I'll return it to Midi Car.

Will it be a warm handshake or a tender kiss?

Tender kiss.

In any case, can't Mr Bétany transfer his firm to Montpellier?

Or open a branch here? You could transfer your lab to Paris.

The flight from Montpellier to Paris takes all of 40 minutes.

I'll make a note of that.

Also note that I have no plans for Christmas.

So if you have no other plans... None that are better.

May I kiss you again?

Do I have the right to put my hand there? Yes, you do have the right.

We'll be careful that it never becomes a duty.

Goodbye.

Be good. Certainly not!

May I speak to Christine, please?

She's spending Christmas with her godmother.

- May I take a message? Thank you, madam. No message.

The number you dialled is not currently in service.

Valérie Bontemps is not in Montpellier.

You have 30 seconds to leave a message on the answering machine.

30 seconds? I have just enough time to tell you I would have liked to see you and to have caressed your legs under your pleated skirt.

I'm going to admit something. I loathe answering machines.

Goodbye.


Oh, Bertrand! Good evening. Good evening.

How are you?

Remember me? Of course I remember you.

I'm sorry. I have to meet someone... over there.

Oh, well. Goodbye. Bye.


Nicole, be careful when he wakes up. He mustn't move.

Give the instructions to the night nurse. Yes, sir.

My book...

I want my book.

No, you can't read. The doctor says you mustn't move.

I know what I'll do after my book.

I'll leave everything.

I'll go to that island for women only and live among them.

I'll try to make them accept me.

They will accept me. I'll explain to them.

(carol singers singing)


You need to change the drip in 14 at six. I'm leaving now.

OK.

Martine, is there enough serum? Yes. I'll take care of it.


Bertrand often told me he didn't like the end of his book.

He didn't dare dream his hero would die.

And yet it's so very logical.

I have the feeling that all these women are now writing that last page.

And I am one of them.

Yet I have a strange feeling - that of being Bertrand's accomplice.

I'm the only one here who knows everything about him.

The women he hurt were wrong to expect something of him that he didn't have to give.

To those who wanted pleasure he gave pleasure and affection as well.

I have no doubt that he loved them all, in his way.

And he was right to.

No one is the same. Each one has something the other doesn't.

Each one is unique.

Bertrand loved them all as they were.

This one for her myopic look and metal-rimmed glasses.

This one for her intensity and passion.

Here's one who's really crying. She's genuinely upset.

This girl looks like an orphan.

I'm sure he liked this beautiful woman for her red mane.

This one's amused. She's the only one.

Here's the one who's shy and gentle, followed by one who's straight out of a Russian novel.

What he loved in her was her fight to remain seductive.

This one looks like a student.

This one had her nose done, perhaps to please him.

She could be his widow, if he'd been married.

Bertrand thought that in quantity he might find happiness.

Why do we feel we have to look at so many people for what we're taught can be found in one person alone?

But from all these women in his life, there is something that will endure.

A token of remembrance.

A rectangular object. 320 bound pages.

It's called a book.