Okay relationship film, with the usual French oddities
Thomas M. Sipos | Santa Monica, CA | 07/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not a big fan of French films. I only got this because it featured Bond girls Claudine Auger (THUNDERBALL) and Barbara Bach (SPY WHO LOVED ME). Bach only has a small part, mostly in French, a little English, and I'm not sure if she dubbed her own voice. But both women look nice.
It's an odd story, but in the usual French way. A journalist visits his sister in a small town outside Paris. Auger sees him at a party, and falls in love at first sight. She's already married, but in typical French fashion, it's no big deal. The journalist is already living with Bach, and he dumps her in casual fashion.
So the journalist and Auger have an affair, with some pointless scenes and padded dialogue along the way. He asks her to marry him, but though she loves him, she says marriage is out of the question. I think it's because the French differentiate between lovers and husbands. Anyway, the journalist never brings up the matter again. Instead, he cheats on her, and is soon bored. Auger seems bored with him at times too, but then when she learns he's bored ... well, I don't want to write in a spoiler.
This DVD seems to have been struck from an old print. It's mostly decent-looking, but somethings black debris and spots flicker past. It's also a full screen version so some of the credits are cut off. The subtitles are annoying, because all apostrophes have been left out, so that I'll is spelled Ill, and we're is spelled were, and she's is spelled shes.
I was initially bored, but eventually drawn into the film. Auger's character remains enigmatic to the end. She states her feelings matter-of-factly, but shows little emotion apart from many pretty smiles and a few frowns. No big demonstrative scenes, no loud arguing or crying or passion, so her final act comes as a surprise.
Not much emotion until the end, and even then it's restrained. All characters seem afflicted with ennui, that uniquely French sort of boredom. The journalist admits as much. I suppose the theme may be that still waters run deep. And it works, sort of.
Oh yes. There are several scenes of large herds of sheep in the countryside. Once, Auger and the journalist run amid the sheep in this field. He chases the herd about, to her delight. Then he jumps her and they make love in the field. I'm thinking, hey, there must be a lot of sheep sh*t in that field. I wonder if they fell in some and don't yet realize it?