How Much Do You Love Me? Bertrand Blier

Bertrand Blier has long been the bane of feminists and tender sensibilities, but damn if this 90-minute trifle doesn’t overshadow that stumbling block. Monica Belluci stars as a prostitute who’s approached by schleppy Bernard Campan: "live with me,” he says, "and we’ll spend my four-million-euros lottery winnings together.” Of course, money complicates everything and it’s not entirely clear if Bellucci grows to love her man or Campan has the self-image to love someone he hasn’t paid for. Regrettably, most of the moral debits accrue to Bellucci, who’s constantly being tested in her love for her moneyman, and things get a tad hair-raising when her pimp boyfriend Gerard Depardieu shows up to reclaim her. But whatever your political orientation, there’s no denying the dry wit and deadpan nuttiness of the whole twisted enterprise. Highlights include an argument between the female star and next door neighbour Farida Rahouadj over who has the better orgasms, and a final show stopping party sequence that has at least half a dozen possible endings. There’s nothing terribly profound on offer, and you can get most of its bitter grumblings about women from any drunk in any bar in the world. But Blier’s acknowledgement of the ridiculous complications involved in hetero relationships (and not just the romantic ones) can occasionally hit a sore point or offer a brief flash of recognition. It won’t make you buy the full program but it might let you ease yourself into a genuinely funny bedroom romp and remind you that it could be worse. After all, you could be watching Kinky Boots. Rent this movie, crack a smile and count your blessings. (Seville)