Combien tu m'aimes? (2005) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's notes


Author/director Bertrand Blier was one of the stars of the French Cinema in the 70s and early 80s. Some of his films reached beyond the normal borders of the French-speaking world to become international hits, at least on the arthouse circuit. 1974's Going Places solidified his place in the world cinema pantheon, made international stars of Gerard Depardieu and the late Patrick Dewaere, and introduced Isabelle Huppert to the world. 1978's Get Out Your Handkerchiefs reunited the bad boy tag-team of Depardieu/Dewaere, and gave Blier more international exposure. He's still at it today at age 67, but his rated filmography of writing credits reflects a marked decline in his work. As graded by IMDb visitors, his four best movies were made in 1974-1981 and his worst movies are also his four most recent.

  1. (7.52) - Buffet froid (1979)
  2. (7.36) - Beau-père (1981)
  3. (7.30) - Préparez vos mouchoirs (1978)
  4. (7.16) - Valseuses, Les (1974)
  5. (7.06) - 'Merci la vie' (1991)
  6. (7.01) - Tenue de soirée (1986)
  7. (6.98) - Notre histoire (1984)
  8. (6.84) - Trop belle pour toi (1989)
  9. (6.65) - Mon homme (1996)
  10. (6.57) - Grosse fatigue (1994)
  11. (6.45) - Un, deux, trois, soleil (1993)
  12. (5.97) - Femme de mon pote, La (1983)
  13. (5.95) - Calmos (1976)
  14. (5.58) - Combien tu m'aimes? (2005)
  15. (5.52) - Acteurs, Les (2000)
  16. (4.87) - Côtelettes, Les (2003)
  17. (3.89) - Pédale dure (2004)

Combien tu m'aimes? is about an insignificant middle-aged guy who wins the lottery and uses his earnings to hire the a prostitute for life, or until he runs out of money, whichever comes first. His health problems might make it a horse race. The part of her angry pimp is played by ... (wait for it) ... Gerard Depardieu.

The film uses a story-telling technique which moves farther and farther from reality. It starts out in a form of reality - not the natural world as we know it, but the world of movie farce and fantasy, in which the improbable is possible, and the world is seen through rose-tinted glasses, but the general physical laws of the universe still apply, and human behavior takes place within the realm of what is still possible. From there it strays into a form of magical realism in which the fantasy scenes seem to take place entirely in the lead character's imagination, and he snaps back from that world into his ... er ... reality. By the end of the film, all attempts at coherent logic are abandoned and the characters are living inside a world which could have been created by Salvador Dali, and yet the film retains a kind of gentle, whimsical tone, as if it had been produced by a collaboration of Luis Buñuel and Cameron Crowe.

Odd stuff. It is, in turn, enchanting, confusing, and irritating. Sometimes there is enough zany action to please the Marx Brothers. At other times there are long discussions and/or monologues about the nature of love. Sometimes it seems to be melodrama. At other times it seems to be a farcical parody of melodrama. The background score ranges from a sad, wailing alto sax to strident arias from Puccini and Verdi. The operatic music is used to punctuate the exaggerated nature of the various goings-on. As if we could otherwise miss it!

Of course, the mousy guy tries to win the beautiful hooker's heart as well. Can a guy who looks like Rob Corddry really win Monica Bellucci? You'll have to watch the film to find out. And maybe after you watch it you still won't be sure!

How Much Do You Love Me? DVD Monica Bellucci Widescreen (2005)

Click on the picture for DVD info


  • Monica Bellucci - breasts, and very dimly-lit bum and crotch. There is quite a bit of nudity, but never any very explicit, well-lit nudity from Monica.

  • Farida Rahouadj - breasts in a fairly explicit sex scene.

  • Bernard Campan - bum

Tuna's notes

2005's "Combien tu m'aimes?", which is French for "Monica Bellici naked," is an offbeat French Comedy starring Monica and some other people. (Farida Rahouadj, Bernard Campan, and Gerard Depardieu.) Some of the others also get naked although not Depardieu, which would have required a wider aspect ratio.

Campman plays an ordinary-looking office worker with a weak heart. As the film opens, he approaches hooker Bellucci with a proposition. He will pay her 100,000 euros per month to live as his wife until his money runs out. He adds that he has just won the lottery. She quickly accepts. She lasts eight days, and then returns to her pimp/husband, Depardieu. Depardieu is no longer the leading man type, and has been relegated to the role of villain in this film, but it is still not possible to make a French film without him. Farida Rahouadj plays a neighbor who complains about Bellucci's cries of passion, gets into a heated argument with her over who has the best orgasms, and ends up sleeping with Campman after Bellucci splits.

Ultimately, the beautiful hooker finds Depardieu less satisfying than Campman, and returns, but there are more surprises before this one ends ambiguously.

Director Bertrand Blier has made some excellent films, but this wasn't one of them. I did find it occasionally amusing, but it is not the sort of film I will remember next month, nor am I likely to watch it again.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

  • It grossed about $3 million in France.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C-, an offbeat movie with limited appeal.

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