How Much Do You Love Me? (Combien tu m'aimes?) (2005)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 4-Oct-2006

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-Manual Of Love,Nathalie, Russian Dolls, Beat My heart Skippe
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 89:42
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Bertrand Blier
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Monica Bellucci
Bernard Campan
Gérard Depardieu
Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Edouard Baer
Farida Rahouadj
Sara Forestier
Michel Vuillermoz
François Rollin
Jean Barney
Baptiste Roussillon
Jean Dell
Michaël Abiteboul
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Vincenzo Bellini
Giacomo Puccini
Giuseppe Verdi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I am always willing to give interesting sounding French films a try and this one is no exception. In addition to sounding interesting, this one is also a high quality and very intriguing film. It was written & directed by Bertrand Blier, whose film My Man (Mon Homme) I reviewed when it was released locally. He is probably best known for Too Beautiful for You. That film stars Gerard Depardieu who plays a supporting role in this film. This film is a surreal black comedy like My Man, however unlike that film this one works but is certainly not for everyone.

    The basic plot is that a man, Francois (Bernard Campan), walks into a bar in Paris. This bar is actually more of a bordello where the girls are available for a price to go into another room and have sex. Part of the charge is for a bottle of champagne, which costs as much as the girl's time. In this bar, Francois meets Daniela (Monica Bellucci), a sultry Italian woman. He tells her that he has just won the lottery and has a proposal for her. The proposal which she readily accepts is to be paid 100,000 Euros a month to live with him. She moves in with him but as she does so it becomes obvious that he has a weak heart and may not survive her attentions. He is warned off by a friend of his who is a doctor, but decides to proceed regardless. Things become much more complicated when Francois finds out that Daniela is married to a gangster, Charly (Gerard Depardieu), and that he wants his cut of the arrangement. Although this description of the plot sounds quite straightforward, this film certainly isn't and towards the end this film gets quite surreal and frankly more than a little odd. Despite this though, it's certainly intriguing, amusing and quite unlike anything you might see from a US studio picture.

    The dialogue is very good, by turns funny, strange and revealing. The look of the film is slightly otherworldly with a great stillness to it, with little onscreen movement other than the main players. There are very few extras, even in street scenes. This effect is added to by only using music in bursts which directly relates to the on-screen action. The music used includes some excellent jazz saxophone by Archie Shepp and lots of excerpts from great operas such as Tosca, Il Trovatore and Gianni Schicchi. Both of these musical elements add warmth and passion to the film. The cinematography is very good, featuring some interesting lighting. There is an excellent small bit performance from Farida Rahouadj as Francois' neighbour. Blier makes a cameo himself as a customer in the bar.

    I would recommend this film to people who enjoy European cinema and don't mind their films being a little oblique and open-ended.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was also very good. There is some light grain in backgrounds, however this is not overly intrusive.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    There were no noticeable artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English which although clear and quite large are unfortunately burnt in to the picture, meaning you can't turn them off.

    There is no layer change.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is good but only stereo.

    This DVD contains an French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music used is a combination of jazz and great operas which to my mind works very well for this film. They sound very good in this transfer.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are some extras, however, they are pretty ordinary.

Menu

    The menu was still and silent but allowed for chapter selection.

Theatrical Trailer (1:31)

    This is a pretty good trailer which includes subtitles although interestingly some of the translations are quite different to those in the film itself.

Photo Gallery

    13 stills directly from the film. Pointless.

Cast & Crew Filmographies

    One text page each for the three leads and the director listing a cut down set of their films.

Trailers

    Trailers are included for Manual of Love, Nathalie, Russian Dolls and The Beat My Heart Skipped all of which look like interesting films. On the basis of the trailer I have decided to review Manual of Love.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc is coded for all regions and seems to be the first English language focused version available globally. It has been released in France with both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks along with lots of extras, however it seems to be missing English subtitles which means it won't be much good for most local audiences. If you speak French that is the one to go for.

Summary

    An interesting surreal black comedy from French writer/director Bertrand Blier.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good but only stereo unlike the release of this film in France.

    The set has a small collection of pretty ordinary extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, September 04, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Soundtrack - REPLY POSTED