Combien tu m’aimes?

Director: Bertrand Blier

France. 2005. 95 mins

The highly provocative new romantic comedy from Bertrand Blier (Trop Belle Pour Toi) is a stylish and handsomely played fable about beauty, seduction, sex and romance. Balding office worker Francois (the excellent Bernard Campan) enters a brothel in Paris’ Pigalle District, and speaks with the fur-clad prostitute Daniela (a beguiling Monica Bellucci), discovering that her favours can be had for 150 euros. Instead, Francois reveals he has just won lotto, and will happily give her 100,000 euros a month to live with him until the money runs out. Daniela transforms herself into the domestic housewife of every man’s dreams: she cooks him spaghetti and wriggles and squeals endlessly during their long sessions of lovemaking (much to the annoyance of Francois’ neighbour, Farida Rahouadj). It almost seems as if nothing could go wrong, until Daniela’s gangster boyfriend Charlie (Gerard Depardieu) turns up…This audacious, buoyantly choreographed ballet of fluctuating allegiances is played to perfection, and boasts a quartet of delicious performances.

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