Calmos (1976)

Also known as Femmes Fatales, this Bertrand Blier-directed film presents a satire of both the rise of feminism in France and the traditional attitudes of Frenchmen.

Paul (Jean-Pierre Marielle, The DaVinci Code) is a married gynecologist who has grown sick of looking at women’s bodies. As he runs from his office into the street, he meets Albert (Jean Rochefort, who narrated the French versions of Disney’s Pooh movies). Realizing that they both want the same things in life, they leave town for a small village where they eat and drink away from their wives.

The village priest, who they bring into their world of food and wine, soon takes the side of their wives (Brigitte Fossey from Quintet is one of them) and forces them back to Paris and anything but marital bliss.

Here’s where things get weird.

After weeks of freedom, our heroes — such as they are — run away from the demands of their wives and hide at a farm. They’re soon joined by hundreds of men who want to get away from the demands of their feminist wives.

That’s when an army of women attacks, with a captain who demands that Paul and Albert pleasure all of them before she lets them go. They make a run for it before they are taken back to Paris, operated on and forced to have sex with woman after woman.

Somehow, after all that, they are shrunk down to miniature size and taken to an island, where they fly hang gliders directly into the anatomy of a woman. The end.

I really struggled to figure out what Blier wanted me to feel here. Is it just a joke, all a laugh about the fact that women finally had control of their bodies and may want to initiate sex more often than men, which is a major reversal in the ways of the world in 1976? Then why is every woman in this an amazon obsessed with having sex with men in their late 40’s (as someone who is 48, this is not a complaint as much as an observation)? Is the inversion of the way men treat women any better than the alternative?

I know that I should probably just be laughing or titillated, but I’m just confused.

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