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In the second of Rohmer's moral tales, he examines the relationship between two friends and a girl who at first appears easily exploited. It is a complex tale of feelings and misconceptions, acted out within the head of the main character, as part of Rohmer's attempt to more easily simulate the mindscape quality of literature within a film. Written by
David Gibson <email@example.com>
Apathetic college boys can't keep a good girl down
This is the second of the moral tales, but it's the last one I had left to see. I probably would have liked it better if I had seen it earlier as it covers a lot of the same areas as the later films but it's naturally less polished. It's clearly a very low budget film and the visuals are among Rohmer's most nondescript. Also, despite it's brevity it drags a bit in places. Still, in spite of these flaws it's a worthwhile addition to the Rohmer canon.
The film itself is about two male college students. Guillame is the leader here. He is also a real jerk, similar to the stereotypical frat boy today. This is the type of person who comes from a privileged background but is still quite ignorant in spite of his advantages. Since he is clearly lacking intelligence but seems affable enough, this type of guy gets treated well by people who don't realize that he has just enough cunning to take advantage of their kindness and screw them over. So naturally he uses and abuses everyone around him. This includes his pathetic, spineless sidekick, Bertrand, and their mutual love interest/dumping ground Suzanne. The film is narrated by Bertrand who is something of a non-entity.
Suzanne is a decent looking girl with a steady job but she doesn't have enough money to attend college full time. Because she is not beautiful and also because of the aforementioned lack of funds she allows herself to be used by Bertrand and Guillame. It's clear she cares more about them than they do about her and she ends up wasting her hard earned money on the boys.
The twist here is that eventually Suzanne gets tired of the boys and moves on to better things while they stay the same. Despite coming from a lower social standing she ends equal to them and thus exposes their aimless apathy. Of course, Suzanne is not perfect either. The film's title suggests that her goals from the beginning might have been different than they seemed.
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