The third of Eric Rohmer's Four Seasons
romances follows the indecision of a young man who juggles three women during his final summer between school and work. Drifting along the beaches of Brittany while waiting for his commitment-shy girlfriend, Lena, to meet him, Gaspard (Melvil Poupaud of Diary of a Seducer
) becomes fast friends with pretty waitress Margot (Amanda Langlet, the grown-up Pauline of Pauline at the Beach
a decade earlier) and has a fling with Margot's aggressive and sexy friend Solene before Lena finally shows. By then, Gaspard has inadvertently committed himself to all three women. It's a lovely portrait of awkwardness and ambivalence set against the gorgeous land and seascape of Brittany, and populated by pretty young performers.
This, the most understated of Rohmer's sex farces, carries a bittersweet sting, but little of the emotional effervescence of his best films. While these characters are no less pretentious or vulnerable than his other lovers (who all seem to be emotionally at sea), Rohmer just skims the surface of their emotional revelation. His greatest achievement is the evocation of young adults caught between their teens and 20s, with little real experience but full of easily sidelined ideals. In the best Rohmer tradition, the circular conversations and solipsistic monologues are neither glib nor pretentious, merely the immature but sincere ramblings of vulnerable youth playing adult games. --Sean Axmaker