In the town of Thiers, summer of 1976, teachers and parents give their children skills, love, and attention. A teacher has his first child, a single mother hopes to meet Mr. Right, another mom reaches out to Patrick, a motherless lad who is just discovering the opposite sex. Patrick befriends Julien, a new student who lives in poverty with his mother and has a terrible secret. Bruno shows his friends how to chat up girls. Sylvie stages a witty protest against her parents. Brothers give a friend a haircut. A toddler falls from a window and is unhurt. Everybody goes to the cinema. At camp, Martine catches Patrick's eye. A teacher explains: "Life is hard, but it's wonderful."