This is the first time I've had to write the solitary first review of a film here, and I want you to know the responsibility weighs heavy on my shoulders. I will try not to let you down.
This is the third or fourth Sacha Guitry film I've seen, since falling under the spell of 'La Poison' only a week ago.
"I've Already Been Three Times" (the title refers to the number of times a character recounts he has been both unfaithful and cuckolded) is clearly one of his lesser efforts, not much more than a bedroom farce, and at moments not too far off an early 'Carry On' film, but one with all the repression and shame removed, and replaced instead with a love of the mysteries of life and the hungers of the flesh. Not a lot really happens, and most of that in flashback, but the dialogue sparkles with brazen frankness and there are lovely magical leaps of imagination and creativity in moments you would not expect to find them in many other films (the empty nightclub scene, for example). Like 'Lovers And Thieves' it sags a good deal in the middle but the 'Cardinal' conversation at the end is fantastic and very funny.
Some people find Guitry's habit of beginning his films with a voiceover introducing each of the cast and crew in imaginative ways tiresome, but I find it rather charming. All true artists must leave fingerprints that are their own.
I want so much to live in the eternal summer of Guitry's Paris, sadly now a thing of the past, if it ever existed at all. But at least we'll always have it here.
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