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Film / Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman

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Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman is a 1973 French drama film starring Brigitte Bardot and directed by Roger Vadim.

Jeanne (Bardot) is a hedonist who's convinced that she is the reincarnation of Don Juan. She prides herself in seducing and driving men to madness. One day, she visits her cousin, a priest, to confess that she has committed a murder. As a preface, she tells him of three of her trysts: one with Pierre (Maurice Ronet) an electoral candidate who's married with a child; another with Clara (Jane Birkin), the trophy wife of an abusive gangster; and the last one with a musician.

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Tropes:

  • Astronomic Zoom: The movie starts by zooming in on Earth until a map of Paris shows up.
  • Confess in Confidence: Jeanne seeks out her priest cousin to confide about a murder she committed. This serves as the framing device for the story of her liaisons.
  • Downer Ending: Jeanne dies saving Pierre from a fire, which proves to be for nothing when the last we see of him, he's standing in front of a giant, collapsing pile of sand.
  • Houseboat Hero: Jeanne lives in a submarine, all decked out so that it does look like a proper, comfortable house. It serves to show her wealth and that she's more than a bit eccentric.
  • Idle Rich: Jeanne is a very affluent heiress and never saw the need for work. So she spends her time ruining men's lives and being philosophical about it.
  • Kissing Cousins: Jeanne eventually leads her priest cousin to succumb to her and have sex with her, showing how she really has no qualms.
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  • Meaningful Name: Jeanne believes she's Don Juan.
  • Pet the Dog: Jeanne shows she's not all bad when she avenges Clara by seducing her and humiliating her arrogant, chauvinistic husband in the process.
  • The Sociopath: Jeanne's shtick is to wreck men's lives by seducing them, and shows no real remorse when she succeeds. She only considers that her antics have gone too far when someone dies from them.
  • Suicide, Not Murder: The murder Jeanne believes she committed is actually the musician who killed himself after she told him he had to if he wanted sex from her. She was only joking though. She didn't stick around to see if he would do as "promised" and wasn’t counting on it.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jeanne sleeps with Pierre regardless of his being married (which wrecks his life when it's found out), and with Clara to get back at her husband for abusing her.
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