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Catalonian Paco is a traveling rep for a shoe manufacturer. When he stops to pick up Russian emigree hitchhiker Nino, Paco soon finds himself on the side of the road with everything stolen out from under him. Local gift shop owner Marinette gives the Spaniard a lift. Their mutual attraction manifests itself quickly, and Paco, who was fired over the stolen-car episode, hangs around. When he happens to spot Nino in the same town, he beats up the scrawny Russian, who lands in the hospital. Oddly enough, this marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Paco and Nino soon take the trip down the road together. Written by
A surrealistic story of two credible typical men with a tendency to loneliness, which is made even more intensive through chance events, to meet, and then, despite their dissimilar characters, proceed to get to know and like each other even though the circumstances of their first encounter are extremely inauspicious. Sergi López, playing the Catalonian Paco Cazale, and Sacha Bourdo, playing the Russian Nino, do not put in brilliant acting performances, but they are sufficiently good to convey the pathos in their roles, which becomes more apparent as the film progresses.
The women they meet all behave credibly, but the sum of all the encounters is so unrealistic as to appear nonsensical, even with the anchor of a picturesque background of rural western France and many of its aspects. This surrealism, or irreality, is mercifully not nearly as pronounced as in 'Buffet froid', and is even somewhat entertaining, but it detracts from the otherwise fascinating character studies of both the two travelling companions and the various people they meet.
The double date and the game of 'Bonjour, la France' are highlights in this film, but many other scenes are also of good quality and entertainment value. These two scenes and the survey scenes are particularly well acted.
The dialogue reminds the viewer of the announced purpose of the journey and the event which one can expect when the two men return. When this stage is reached, a characteristically unexpected turn leads to a refreshingly unexpected but unfortunately unrealistic conclusion.
Good ideas and good dialogue are woven rather weakly into a rather good story.
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