Marion is about to divorce from her husband and takes her 15-year-old niece Pauline on a vacation to Granville. There, the two navigate the men around them on the emptying Atlantic coast of an autumn holiday.
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It reminded me of a Hefner lyrics, "you love to be in love, but you never really love". There's nothing better than falling in love at the end of the summer - and that's for the end, not for the summer, nor for the love.
Much conversation (it's Rohmer) about sex and relationships which 14 year old Pauline contributes to only occasionally. She wisely listens and observes until finally being sucked into the vortex of games played by the adults. Since it's Rohmer, everyone behaves relatively civilly and everyone emerges intact though a bit more damaged by life than at the start.
Three stars in the context of Rohmer's filmography; otherwise, four. (All measurements are arrived at using sensitive and carefully calibrated instruments pulled right out of my ass. I'm much more comfortable now, thanks for asking.) I defy you to identify a lighter-hearted, better-intended strain of wistful, pleasure-seeking cynicism about passion and self-deception in alla ze cinema. May be a bit wan for some.