After exploring adolescent sexuality, familial problems and the confusions of bourgeois society in the enchanting Peppermint Soda, French director Diane Kurys has turned her attention the special angst of older youth in Cocktail Molotov.
Anne (Elise Caron) is an eighteen-year-old suburban high school student. She is in love with Frederic (Philippe Lebas), who comes from a working class family. After an argument with her mother, she convinces him and his best friend, Bruno (Francois Cluzet), to drive to Venice. Her goal is to stat a new life with Frederic on a kibbutz in Israel. But he's not sure of much, except that he loves Anne.
The threesome bum around Venice, sleeping outside and enjoying the sights. Eventually they spend a night with Anne-Maria (Stefania Cassini) who fancies herself a left-wing militant. She tells them they are missing out on the big event in Paris the students are in revolt against the Establishment. The trio decide to return to France.
Cocktail Molotov is a cleverly constructed film in which Diane Kurys is able to explore the generation gap, the sexual revolution and the malaise of youth without dealing head-on with the May '68 strikes and riots. As these three displaced individuals float through their experiences on the road, they learn more about the limits of their dreams and face up to the responsibilities which they must shoulder in the name of friendship and love.
Elise Caron is touching as Anne, Philippe Lebas is moody as Frederic, and Francios Cluzet comes off as a funny Dustin Hoffman look-and-sound-alike.