22 October 2011 | cs100
You'll love Monica Bellucci too after seeing this film
"How Much Do You Love Me?" revolves around Monica Bellucci's character Daniela and the many different female roles she changes into and out of like so many pieces of clothing. She is definitely a whore and a seductress, but she may or may not also be a girlfriend, a wife, a mistress, an accomplice, and a scam artist. She is at times domineering but at others submissive and weak; at times jealously possessive but at others open and free; at times quiet and pensive but at others loud and raucous. It takes a while for all these different sides of Daniela to appear, but by the end of the film she is changing between them seemingly in the blink of an eye.
Few characters in the movie can resist falling for one or more sides of Daniela, and the audience too will fall in love with the performance Monica Bellucci gives in the role. It certainly helps that Monica has the beauty and the body to pull of the role, and she is not shy about sharing her voluptuous charms with the camera. In one scene she even instructs us on how she is able to seduce her target, and it is clear that Monica Bellucci knows how to use her considerable female attributes.
The other strong performance in "How Much Do You Love Me?" comes from legendary French actor Gerard Depardieu. Depardieu's character does not appear until the second half of the film, well after all the other main characters have been introduced, but Depardieu instantly captures the attention of the audience. He has played many different characters in his career, and in "How Much Do You Love Me?" he looks like he was born to play the role of an amoral gangster.
The main problem I had with "How Much Do You Love Me?" is that the action starts off slowly, and what is billed as a comedy feels like a depressive drama during the first third of the film. As it turns out it takes a while for director and writer Bertrand Blier to set the stage, and the action picks up considerably in the second two thirds of the film. "How Much Do You Love Me?" never turns into a slapstick farce; instead, it is ultimately a sophisticated adult comedy about the different roles women can assume. While being entertaining it also raises some interesting questions about just what the differences and boundaries are between those roles.