Directed by Blake Edwards
Screenplay by Blake Edwards, Milton Wexler, Geoffrey Edwards, based upon a screenplay by Michel Fermaud, Suzanne Schiffman, and François Truffaut
Starring: Burt Reynolds, Julie Andrews, Kim Basinger, Marylu Henner, Sela Ward, Denise Crosby
(In memory of Blake Edwards)
This film is exhibit A. I have often mentioned here that some movies are mismarketed -- their ads implying things about a film that are just not there. The Man Who Loved Women is the key example of this: it was marketed as a comedy.
Now, that's not particular surprising. Blake Edwards was best known for his Pink Panther films and for later comedies like S.O.B. and Victor/Victoria. But he did make some dramas.
The Man Who Loved Women is not quite a comedy, and not quite a drama, but is a very interesting time. It's the story of David Fowler (Burt Reynolds), who has the problem of loving too many women. He goes to a psychiatrist (Julie Andrews), who tried to help him come to terms with his behavior -- while, at the same time, Fowler is finding new women to love.
The key point is that Fowler is not a womanizer as most people use the term. He is not really into the conquest. He truly falls in love with all the women he sleeps with, and his problem is trying to choose as to who he wants to stay with permanently. And one of the main points is that the women loved Fowler just as deeply.
But few others do. The movie was advertised as a laugh riot from the director of The Pink Panther. And while there was a bit of perfunctory slapstick, the movie was generally dealing with Fowler's inability to make a decision over anything.
It flopped, in part because people were led to believe it was something very different than what it was.
Edwards took it in stride, and continued to make movies, and the film didn't hurt any of the actors careers. But I find it a sweet rumination on love and relationships between the sexes.