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A Little Romance (1979)

A French boy (Daniel) and an American girl (Lauren), who goes to school in Paris, meet and begin a little romance. They befriend Julius who enchants them with his storytelling. In an ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel) (as Patrick Cauvin)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thelonious Bernard ...
Andrew Duncan ...
Claudette Sutherland ...
Graham Fletcher-Cook ...
Ashby Semple ...
Natalie Woodstein
Claude Brosset ...
Michel Michon
Jacques Maury ...
Inspector Leclerc
Ms. Siegel


A French boy (Daniel) and an American girl (Lauren), who goes to school in Paris, meet and begin a little romance. They befriend Julius who enchants them with his storytelling. In an attempt to ensure the teens' love forever, the three journey to Venice. Written by Felicia H. Berke <feberke@vassar.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

27 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un pequeño romance  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jules Edmund Santorin (Laurence Olivier) speaks disparagingly of Daniel's propensity for sitting in the dark in the cinema and pretending to be Robert Redford. Two years earlier, Olivier and Arthur Hill (Richard King) had both appeared with Redford in A Bridge Too Far (1977). See more »


Natalie Woodstein, Lauren's dorky friend: You don't know what love is like until you've fallen for your cousin.
See more »


References The 400 Blows (1959) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

26 years later, still magical and a work of supreme craftsmanship
5 June 2005 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

I've never been able to get this out of my head since its first release; it is one of the best films I've ever seen. I just looked at the DVD and was amazed at how many details I still remember from that first viewing 26 years ago. Gunfire-addled IMDb voters are dead wrong; this should be a 9+, but I guess it gets docked two points for having no explosions and only one shooting (with a blank pistol, which probably doesn't count).

The only "modern romances" in the same league are Richard Linklater's "Sunrise/Sunset" films, which I urge all fans of "A Little Romance" to see.

As fine as Diane Lane has been in recent films, I don't believe she's ever been as good as she is here, 13 years old and simultaneously fresh as new snow and polished as silver plate. She absolutely belonged on that TIME magazine cover. It's a miraculous performance which may owe more to director Hill than to Lane herself, but who cares? Just enjoy it...her interview feature on the DVD is excellent, by the way.

With the exception of "Marathon Man" and a couple of British TV plays, you can't find better late-period Olivier. He's simply delightful. If you are really perverse (like me), watch this and then compare with "The Boys from Brazil," a dreadful Olivier movie from the previous year, which should have qualified Sir Larry as the all-time champion "great actor working like hell while thigh-deep in pure crap." Here it's the exact opposite: the consummate old pro, totally relaxed, tossing off another memorable performance because he's in a terrific movie that he doesn't have to try and save. This is how I choose to remember the older Olivier. Another old pro, Broderick Crawford, damn near steals the movie in his too-brief cameos. He has a wonderful moment with Thelonious Bernard that will charm anyone who's dealt with an aging person's fading memory.

Arthur Hill, yet another reliable old guy, puts a nice turn on the #2 step-dad character. Who ever looked better in a business suit? The only truly unbelievable thing in the movie is that such a smart and understanding man would actually marry Sally Kellerman's vapid, starstruck mother character. Heavens, what a bitch. She doesn't deserve Arthur, and the scene in which he ejects equally vapid Potential Next Husband David Dukes from their lives is a classic of real-world, real man macho.

It's a real shame that Thelonious Bernard didn't have a film career, but if you can only star in one movie, this is a pretty damn good one for it. The iconic freeze-frame final shot of him leaping above traffic to wave goodbye is something one never forgets. It's like the alternate universe version of the last shot in "The 400 Blows."

One more thing: thank heavens there was no sequel.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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