The Tale of Two Movies
Sculptor David Fowler (Burt Reynolds - The Cannonball Run) is a man with a problem, he loves women and getting them is not an issue as he is able to turn on the charm. The trouble is that when he gets one he finds himself wanting another and miraculously manages to treat each and everyone so special that none of them hate him. But something happened which caused him to have a crisis leading him to start seeing Marianne (Julie Andrews - Victor Victoria) a shrink.
"The Man Who Loved Women" is a tale of two movies, the movie which it is and the movie which you wanted it to be. The movie which it is is this attempt to be a light hearted but thoughtful look at a man who is addicted to women, why he is addicted to them, what he needs from them and how he manages to stay friends with them all. I suppose I could say spoiler but the movie starts with David's funeral and we witness hundreds of women show up all of whom love David and they are there for each other which sets up this unique character of a man who had 100s of women and remained close to them all. Maybe it could have worked but it ends up a bit of a dirge which could be down to the expectations brought on by the cast which features Burt Reynolds and Kim Basinger.
But the movie you want this to be is more of a sex comedy and there is a 40 minute section where David heads to Houston and finds himself being seduced by Louise who gets her kicks from risky sex as she is married. It is what you expect as it is full of comedy, sexual innuendo and the sort of thing you want from a movie featuring Burt Reynolds and Kim Basinger. It's a real shame that the entire movie is not like this as it would have been great.
Because "The Man Who Loved Women" ends up two movies in one we get mixed performances. When the story focuses on the obvious sex comedy Burt Reynolds is right at home and works well with Kim Basinger who throws herself all over him in some hilarious sex scenes. But then during the first half which focuses more on the psycho analysis it all seems so fake as Reynolds tries to play things as sincere and charming. And unfortunately the movie is not helped by Julie Andrews' ever so perfect narration which feels seriously out of place.
What this all boils down to is that for about 40 minutes "The Man Who Loved Women" delivers exactly what you expect unfortunately either side of that is a movie which ends up dull.