Man Is A Woman

Man Is A Woman


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Imagine a mix between Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet and The Bachelor, in which Chris O'Donnell has to marry within 24 hours to claim zillions from [actor]Peter Ustinov[actor]'s will, and you have the gist of what this is about.

Simon (Antoine de Caunes) is thirtysomething, at ease with his homosexuality and carrying an unacceptable overdraft on top of 40 Gauloise a day. When the uncle (Michel Aumont) he doesn't like offers him a small fortune to get hitched, since he is the last of the male line, he hesitates long enough to discuss it with mama (Judith Magre), who takes the view: "If you have to suffer, suffer rich."

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Having set up a gay man's nightmare, director Jean-Jacques Zilberman takes pity on all concerned and sugars the pill. Rosalie (Elsa Zylberstein), the girl in question, starts off as a naive virgin, with a string of infuriating habits, mostly to do with her health, and ends as a feisty trooper who believes that love conquers all, despite what they say in the bath houses.

The film lacks conviction, sliding between a soft approach to bisexuality and wondering where to go next. Once the feared wedding night has been crossed, made easier by her nervousness, the only running story is whether Simon is going to make it with cousin David (Gad El Maleh) before Rosalie storms off in a huff. Frankly, my dear, who gives a damn?

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A gay man is offered a heap of cash... providing he weds.
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Director: Jean-Jacques Zilberman

Writer: Gilles Taurand, Jean-Jacques Zilberman

Starring: Antoine de Caunes, Elsa Zylberstein, Gad El Maleh, Michel Aumont, Judith Magre, Maurice Benichou

Year: 1998

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: France


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