Picks and Pans Review: Bardot Deneuve Fonda

updated 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Roger Vadim

It has not escaped Vadim's notice that he is the patron saint of male chauvinism. Having had long liaisons with Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and Jane Fonda, the French movie writer-director seems to enjoy the telling as much as the kissing. In some ways his book is surprisingly gallant. He says, for instance, that he eventually got tired of making love with Bardot but then he also acknowledges that when he first met Fonda, they couldn't consummate their relationship for weeks because he was impotent. He also has a sense of humor of sorts. He relates that years after their divorce, the frequently suicidal Bardot called him and said, "Vadim. You've got to save my life." He replied, "Can you call back tomorrow? I'm busy." And as second wife Annette Stroyberg was getting into a taxi to leave him for her new lover (actor Vittorio Gassman), she said, "Can you take care of the divorce?" "Of course," Vadim said. "Don't you worry about such details." Vadim also goes out of his way to say nice things, praising Bardot's warmth, Deneuve's wit, Fonda's fairness. There is still something disquieting about his book, and it's not just that he seems to have the attention span of a cocker spaniel. It may be the pleasure he takes in suggesting that he created these women in many ways—he credits himself for Fonda's interest in politics, for instance. Vadim, now 56 and living with Ann Biderman, a Hollywood screenwriter, has had a substantial but hardly spectacular career—Barbarella, with Fonda, is probably his most famous movie. He seems to be relying now on reflected glory. (Simon and Schuster, $17.95)

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