Perhaps Luigi Comencini is the director who has given the Italian public the most intriguing portraits of women. La bugiarda is a perfect example of this. Cinema historian Jean Gili writes: “It is a cynical film about the immaturity of men and the shrewdness of women, with their ability to imagine a love life that makes fun of traditional schemes and becomes a kind of reverse harem. A more coherent harem than a male-dominated one. Caterina is the mistress of her own destiny, and she enjoys ridiculing men who cling to outdated conventions, gossip, jealousy and hurt pride. In terms of directing, the film boasts exemplary fluidity, letting Catherine Spaak give a tour de force performance of feminine cunning and candid seduction.”
Caterina (but that’s not the only name she uses) is romantically involved with two men: a young dentist (her “official” boyfriend) and a pompous aristocrat bored with his marriage. She grants three days a week to each, while the seventh is reserved for a platonic relationship with another young man. These three relationships are the perfect synthesis of what she desires in a man.