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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

A Summer's Tale
Directed by Eric Rohmer
Artificial Eye 09/00 Feature Film
Not Rated

Gaspard (Melvil Poupaud) works for a design firm and is on vacation in a Brittany resort town. Margot (Amanda Langlet), a waitress who has a Ph.D. in ethnology, seeks him out as a friend. Her boyfriend is in the South Pacific with the Peace Corps. Margot, who takes the lead in their relationship, eventually learns that Gaspard is waiting for Lena (Aurelia Nolin) to meet him. She's traveling with her cousins and is a week late.

Gaspard and Margot talk about dating, relationships, jealousy, and sex. But once they're totally relaxed with each other, he meets Solene (Gwenaelle Simon) in a disco. She convinces him to take a trip with her to a nearby island. He shares a song he's written, and she sings it for him. His ego is buoyed up by this sensual young woman who has just dumped two other boyfriends.

This is the third in French writer and director Eric Rohmer's Tales of Four Seasons. He has a penchant for exploring all the nuances of sexual politics. Gaspard plays a different role with each of the three women he meets in Brittany. True to his philosophy of waiting around to see what happens next, this protagonist hopes that luck will be on his side and he'll win the heart of the right woman. But complications arise when Lena shows up and suddenly Gaspard is stuck in a situation where he's promised all three women to be with them at the same time. Who's going to be the one he chooses — Margot who puts him at ease, Solene who is sexually confident, or the moody Lena? The surprise ending provides the perfect solution for Gaspard and proves once again how artful and clever Eric Rohmer can be about the complications of romantic relationships.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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