Marion is about to divorce from her husband and takes her 15-year-old niece Pauline on a vacation to Granville. She meets an old love...Marion is about to divorce from her husband and takes her 15-year-old niece Pauline on a vacation to Granville. She meets an old love...Marion is about to divorce from her husband and takes her 15-year-old niece Pauline on a vacation to Granville. She meets an old love...
A charming little essay on love and desire, this film could be called slow and slight - no matter, it follows its own internal purpose. These unexceptional people talk, lie, argue and make love in a natural and convincing way.
Pauline (Amanda Langlet) is a witty 15-year-old who blossoms in the course of the story. We first see her wearing a sailor suit, looking child-like and presexual. She watches the antics of the adults with detached contempt, then meets Sylvain (Simon de la Brosse), a teenage beach bum with whom she becomes intimate. Pauline rises above the jealousies and posturings of the grown-ups and in a subtle way becomes the dominant figure in this ramshackle little group of vacationers.
Rohmer wrote and directed this little comedy of love, and his chief satirical target is Marion (Arielle Dombasle). On the rebound from a foolish marriage, Marion enjoys posing as the worldly-wise older cousin, and she patronises Pauline abominably. It does not take long for Marion to betray herself as a phoney who talks in grandiloquent terms of love and the inner self, but who plays petty courtship games in a social circle of no consequence. "Je veux bruler d'amour", says this pompous prick teaser.
It is clear as soon as Marion meets Henri (Feodor Atkine) that she has the hots for him. Her former amour Pierre (Pascal Greggory) is ever after playing catch-up as the mating-dance between Marion and Henri intensifies.
The fulcrum of the film is the frolic in the sea involving the free-spirited Henri and the sweet-seller Rosette, who are joined by Sylvain. The latter is at a loose end because Marion and Pauline have gone on a day trip to Mont St-Michel, so he splashes in the sea with the older couple. To avert Marion's jealousy, Henri says that it was Sylvain who was trying to bed Rosette, not he - which leads to a major squabble.
Plot is unimportant in this delicate reflection on love and sexual desire. The film is an attractive ensemble piece whose characters linger in the mind long after action movies have been forgotten. Extensive passages of dialogue, endless ruminations on personal relationships and nuances of behaviour are the fabric of this edifice.
Verdict - very intelligent, very pretentious, very flirtatious, very longwinded, yet very appealing. Very French.
- Jan 5, 1999