A Summer’s Tale Review

A Summer's Tale
A young man must decide between three beautiful women.

by William Thomas |
Published on
Release Date:

27 Sep 1996

Running Time:

113 minutes



Original Title:

A Summer’s Tale

The French director once again explores his obsession with the vagaries of love and characters who reveal themselves through endless chat. That it emerges more enjoyable than its predecessors is due mainly to a teasing central menage a quatre and an attractive cast in skimpy swimwear in Brittany locations.

The film follows musician Gaspard (Poupaud) as he awaits the arrival of his girlfriend Lena (Nolin) at a seaside resort. He is chatted up by waitress Margot (Langlet) with whom he quickly establishes a close platonic relationship. Yet this friendship is put on the back burner when he meets self-confident and sultry Solene (Gwenaelle Simon). Her predatory advances boost his ego and he looks set for the rest of his stay - until Lena turns up to reawaken old feelings. Paralysed by choice, Gaspard struggles to determine his true feelings and gradually boxes himself into conflicting plans with all three women.

If all this sounds farcical and contrived, it shouldn't. Without pretension, Rohmer unravels the emotional implications of the situation in a fresh, vivid manner, contrasting the liaisons to probe the nature of attraction and difficulty of commitment. Gaspard may annoy in his lack of decisiveness and the predicament does smack of male wish fulfilment but the action is always believable, often poignant and laced with amusing insights. Like much subtitled fare, it is leisurely and totally talk-driven.

The director's gossamer touch and astute observations, plus a quartet of winning, naturalistic performances, add up to a delightful document on the dilemmas of young lurve - all courtesy of a filmmaker belying his 76 years.
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