An Affair of Love is a tidy little tale about a man and a woman. They meet cute: He answers her ad for a partner in a sexual act whose nature is never revealed. Their liaison lasts for a while. Then, for the first time, they make what they both call "normal" love, and everything changes. I can't say more, but it's straight out of O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi." Sentimental, pat, very enjoyable, no relationship to real life.

Any doubt about being in fantasyland will be dispelled by the size of the hotel room where they do whatever they do. I have stayed in rooms in Paris a tenth that size, and they nearly bankrupted me. She books this enormous room, he pays for it, and they never discuss money?

But who cares? Nathalie Baye is an inspiration. Several reviewers call her "thirtysomething"; folks, that's what 52 looks like when you do it right. Sergi Lopez corners the market in boyish smiles--comradely, avid, puppyish, wistful. I could watch him smile all night. Talk about disability-blind casting--he's 5' 6" and admits it. So if it's all fantasy, why am I so testy about the sex? I'm supposed to believe that a woman with the guts to run a perverted personals ad will be well satisfied with a single and of course simultaneous orgasm when she gets a "normal" cock inside her? Movie fistfights don't piss me off like movie sex, maybe because I don't often fistfight. Make like a movie hero, punch somebody in the head with your bare knuckles, and your hand hurts for a week; one-trial learning. But 1,000 trials, even 10,000 trials don't seem enough to convince men that women just aren't like this. Sorry.

Barley Blair is the pseudonym of a little old lady who has been trying to get the hang of sex since before you were born.