Pierre married Florence, the only daughter of a small industrialist. 15 years later, he is the boss, but his middle-class life worries him a lot. When a new young and lovely secretary comes, he starts dreaming.
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etaix's genius might be in taking the slapstick gesture - perhaps the oldest form of cinematic narrative - and instill it with the same kind of complexity and grace that eric rohmer did with the spoken sentence. the final moments of this film - the gag as aphorism? - are, in their own unprepossessing way, as poignant a reflection on desire as anything in late buñuel.
the pacing is really weird and is what ultimately made me lose interest in the film - the second half had really repetitive, boring scenes that culminate in satisfying pay-offs that don't justify how unsatisfactory what preceded it was. there are some really nice and really funny scenes, though, and there's a certain charm throughout that I really enjoyed. the ending was totally not at all earned and just plain bad.
The great love features some exciting cinematographic choices and interventions while sharing with us some of the oldest truths known to man. It was very easy to watch, the first half especially was a hoot. It slowed down quite a bit in the second half.