Four Nights of a Dreamer

Four Nights of a Dreamer

What at first seems like a love story seems to reveal itself as a critique of art in this. A woman, Marthe, is caught between two lovers. One is a painter who uses his own thoughts on her as a muse to make abstract paintings, and the other is a man who took her to see a comically predictable Hollywood-style film. It sounds a little more blunt than it is, though. The film seems to play with romantic tropes while depicting this struggle, perhaps to avoid being the sort of film it parodies with its film-within-a-film, and that toying with the typical structure helps alleviate the directness.

It also alleviates the creepiness that pervades the relationship between Jacques and Marthe as they wait for her erstwhile conventional lover. His use of tape recordings of his own thoughts is a bizarre take on the idea of a woman as a muse. He's not using her. He's not using her voice. He's using his obsession itself. It's a little creepy, but the added layer of weirdness takes it to another realm.

Overall, the film has a certain sense of playfulness to it that I didn't expect. Scenes like the aforementioned film-within-film and a moment when Jacques freaks some people out in public stand out especially. It's a romantic comedy, but not a rom-com. It just happens to be a funny movie and a romantic movie, but at its heart, it's a commentary.