This French film by Claude Sautet (Cesar et Rosalie; Vincent, Francois, Paul et les Autres) follows the pattern set by his previous work: individuals in trouble or confused look to the lives of their friends for clues on coping. Marie (Romy Schneider) is an industrial designer in Paris who at the age of 39 feels the need to pull her life out of the rut it has fallen into. Although her job is satisfying and her relationship with her teenage son is rewarding, Marie doesn't know where she's going. And when she considers friends, they too seem disoriented: a fellow divorcee who sells her body for a diversion; a co-worker who is suicidal; and a lover who is becoming increasingly possessive and childish. An encounter with her former husband forces Marie to reassess everything. A Simple Story is just that: an elegant, somewhat melodramatic, portrait of a mid-life crisis. Romy Schneider's excellent performance helps it all hang together like a well-orchestrated collage.