“How Much Do You Love Me?”
Winning the Lottery
Francois, a clerk in Paris, wins the lottery in Strand Releasing’s “How Much Do You Love Me?” With his winnings he walks into a bar in Pigalle and offers Daniela, a prostitute, a hundred thousand Euros a month to live with him until the money runs out. He is lonely and has problems with his heart and Daniela stays with him for eight days because she is nothing but a whore.
The movie examines love or at least, what most of us think love is. Beautifully photographed, the film has the feel of melancholy but it is the characters that give the movie its style—we have an average Joe (Bernard Campan) buying the woman he desires and a woman (Monica Bellucci) who sells her body for no other reason than she wants to. She has a husband, Charly (Gerard Depardieu), a gangster, who indulges her desires. In this romantic comedy, we get a lot of laughter. The movie shows us how one man deals with his loneliness. There are a lot of jokes about sex but there is no visible sex on the screen—it is all inferred. The movie itself is somewhat strange and the ending is open.
I felt the movie had a definite sexist overtone, especially with the over usage of the word “whore”. It is the men that prevail in this film. But the movie is light and Monica Bellucci is gorgeous—she is a fine actress and beautiful to look at. Her body and her eyes mesmerize but even with that, she cannot save this piece of fluff. This could have been a wonderful film if the script had been a little tighter. As it is now, it is only enjoyable. It could have been so much more.