Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Tale of Springtime (1989)

Diehard Eric Rohmer fans, all twelve of us, will enjoy this light romance. Being a Rohmer film, it features lots of scenes of people sitting on sofas and talking about themselves at great length. But amid all the yakity-yak, an interesting story emerges that shows us how people can allow themselves to be manipulated out of curiosity and simple inertia.

Two young Parisian women (Anne Teyssedre and Florence Darel) meet at a very dull cocktail party and, through constant yammering, learn all about each other and become fast friends in the course of one evening. This expository sequence is quite drawn out and is a test of both the viewer’s patience and reading ability. But, as is usually the case, this is just Rohmer’s way of leisurely baiting his trap. Ultimately, Darel’s secret agenda is revealed and this starts a chain of small events that allows us to learn a bit more about the true natures of these characters. Not Rohmer’s best work, but a realistic, indeed almost voyeuristic, glimpse into the everyday lives of a network of Parisian friends.

Another enjoyable aspect is the presentation of 80s fashions. Teyssedre’s endless supply of blouses with NFL size shoulder pads and baggy, high-waisted pants is quite the hoot.

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