Fifties fashions aside, this is deeply stuck in the inter-war period with its trite obsessing about rationalism as the enemy of all things warm and human (i.e traditional), its brochure-speak dialogues and a clerical showstopper. And the blatant(ly wrong) suggestion that science and authoritarianism tend to go hand in hand. A work of an old man, falling behind his time.
Renoirs silly yet philisophical film touches on modern issues and taboos. A famous scienctist pushes the idea of artificial insemination to eliminate the need for courtship among people and elevate mating to purely sport. When he falls in love with a woman seeking a child wo/ a mate based on his theories, the argument between science and spirit find a different perspective.
A very light and silly sex comedy. High spirited and farcical at times, this french romp is pretty harmless. Not sure I've ever watched a light-hearted comedy revolving around artificial insemination.... but now I have. It's very much simplistic in tone and mood. Kind of reminded me of a combination of ideas from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
An overlooked masterpiece of modern cinema whose genius has likely been overshadowed by its contemporaneity with the emergence of the New Wave. But this movie already points to directions Godard would move in his more radical periods, anticipating not the New Wave itself, but many of its later tangential derivations (including the theatrical films of Alain Resnais).
I don't know that I'd count it among Renoir's best, given its didacticism, and the way it kind of stigmatizes artificial insemination, a practice that's now considerably common. But the characters are colorful, and this is the first Renoir film I've seen that had a completely happy ending. So it is, overall, a charming, easily watchable film.