The very busy actor Michel Serrault lends his talents to the depiction of a monstre sacree of French literature, the extremely repugnant but very clever Paul Leautaud, who was famous for his rude, clever observations and his epigrams. Although unkempt and very mean, his rapier-like wit and strong lust were sufficiently magnetic that at the time of this film he was engaged in a long-term relationship with his equally vile mistress (Annie Girardot), and a new relationship with a librarian (Aurore Clement) who is a fan of his writing. The story is based on the author's personal diaries from the period.
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