Few directors capture the melancholy and excitement of romantic obsession as successfully as Bertrand Blier, whose films (Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Ménage) are easily among the most sexually sophisticated ever made. Too Beautiful for You tells a demanding, sometimes nonlinear story. A man (Gérard Depardieu) cheats on his beauteous wife (Carole Bouquet) with his plain secretary (Josiane Balasko). The action, seen from three perspectives, shifts back and forth between what the characters actually experience and what they fantasize. We watch as the present quickly slips into the past: All affairs are exercises in instant nostalgia.
Blier’s dense, sensual film, scored with a haunting Schubert impromptu, leaves us with a number of memorable images of romantic attachment: a body strewn across bed sheets in a hotel room, a glazed pair of eyes across a candle-lit table, a gesture of affection that’s as shy as a shadow. Each camera movement seems a caress, and all three actors seem lost in the emotion of the moment. Anyone who has had an illicit and passionate love affair will probably shudder in recognition. A-