SLIGHTLY PREGNANT MAN, THE (Événement le plus important depuis que l’homme a marché sur la lune, L’)

(director/writer: Jacques Demy; cinematographer: Andréas Winding; editor: Anne-Marie Cotret; music: Michel Legrand; cast: Catherine Deneuve (Irène), Marcello Mastroianni (Marco Mazetti), Micheline Presle (Doctresse Delavigne), Marisa Pavan (Wife), Claude Melki (Lucien Soumain), Mireille Mathieu (Herself), Alice Sapritch (Ramona Martinez), Raymond Gérôme (Gérard Chaumont de Latour), Benjamin Legrand (Lucas); Runtime: 85; Lira Films; 1973-Fr/It)

“A heavy-handed comedy spoof.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A heavy-handed comedy spoof featuring the novel idea of Marcello Mastroianni being pregnant and becoming a model for maternity wear. The gimmick just didn’t work. It’s hard to believe that a great director like Jacques Demy could make such a bomb. There wasn’t enough material here for even a half-hour TV sitcom.

Marco Mazetti (Mastroianni) is co-owner of a Paris driving school with his friend Soumain (Melki). He complains of feeling weak and having headaches, and his live-in hair-dresser girlfriend, Irène (Deneuve), with whom he has an 8-year-son Lucas, recommends her doctor. Doctor Delavigne tells him he’s pregnant, but gets a second opinion from a noted gynecologist, Professor Chaumont de Latour.

The professor states his pregnancy could be caused by a hormonal unbalance due to chemicals in the food. Mastroianni does his best to make this impossible situation believable, but it’s a useless effort. It’s a bad idea with an even worst script. It hammers out its main point that man in this vulnerable condition will understand and therefore be more sympathetic with women.

Mastroianni gets newspaper publicity, looks of amazement from his pub buddies, and appears on TV talk shows. A lucrative business offer comes his way as he’s hired to model male maternity clothes. The film staggers to its anti-climax, that finds he wasn’t pregnant but she was. But it manages no comedy in all its trying efforts to give birth to a farce.