The is a very typically French slice of late Fifties middle-class life as seen during summer at the seaside when the parents' marriage is breaking up. The looks, the behavior, the attitudes could only be French. In that sense the film has a certain fascination and, hopefully, period accuracy (it's set in 1958).
The subtext is that for a young teenage girl in a sociable world, with a sister and brothers and a pleasant uncle and aunt and an annoying nanny and a young boy interested in kissing her and a close relationship with the imaginary addressee of her daily diary, her parents' disintegrating marriage is by no means the only thing going on in her world--especially given the fact that she's at a summer resort in a rented house and the mother is often away and the father is almost always away. There is a lot going on, most notably the changes in herself. This is probably the film's and Kurys' real subject--only it's a difficult one to put across and she doesn't quite succeed. Ultimtely too much is nonetheless going on, and it is all given too similar weight. Kurys, perhaps in her effort to balance autobiography with history and sociology, winds up making neither the adult nor the children's point of view strong enough. Lindon, Bruni-Tedeschi, Bacri, Berry, and Baye have been in better films. However, they're interesting actors, and the child actors are equally fine. This is not as bad or as great as some have suggested. It's very watchable, but it doesn't really go anywhere.Not a disaster, and a sincere effort, but not successful storytelling and not finally a very memorable experience.
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