Romance films

Revue Lover for a Day – an intensely French affair | Romance movies

THEfin d’un jour sends the French filmmaker Philippe Garrel back to his ever-green – or always monochrome – subjects of sex, jealousy and love. It is co-scripted by his longtime collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière, this great screenwriter whose interest and unfailing skill in the construction of the plot give courage to the film.

This brief and alluring feature is a typically elegant, albeit fleeting, classically New Wave work – almost a time capsule. It’s an intensely French film in which someone writes a post-coital message to their sleeping lover with lipstick on a mirror before leaving, without any trace of comedy or irony. The setting is the present, and there is a scene in which young people in a cafe talk about the immorality of war. What war? Afghanistan? Iraq? Syria? No: the Algerian war, that of the 1960s.

Esther Garrel (daughter of Philippe and sister of Louis – and incidentally the actor who played Marzia, who fell poignantly for Elio by Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name) is Jeanne, who is devastated to break up with her little one friend and having to move. from his apartment. Having no other choice, she unexpectedly shows up at her father’s house with a bulging suitcase and a messy face with mascara and tears. Here is Gilles (Éric Caravaca), a handsome divorced philosophy professor. And it is with very mixed feelings that Jeanne finds out that Gilles has a beautiful new girlfriend to live with, Ariane (Louise Chevillotte), who is Jeanne’s age, and is Gilles’ new student – although caring about the ethics of that is an Anglo-Saxon scruple of accuracy that does not bother anyone here.

You might expect some jealousy and tension, but Garrel initially sets up something more interesting and subtle. Ariane is generous and loving. His feelings for Gilles turn into a warm relationship with Jeanne: something between a sister, a cousin or a friend. But the very fact of Jeanne’s presence in their new household creates a strange new imbalance in the relationship.

Garrel smartly shows how Gilles – become embarrassed living with a girl and girlfriend of the same age, and guiltily feeling his loyalty should always rest on the girl – makes a flippant and thoughtless remark to Ariane that future infidelities shouldn’t. affect their love, which triggers Ariadne’s vulnerability and interest in casual sex with others. In addition, Ariane and Jeanne both have secrets (a little absurd) that they agree to hide from Gilles. But Garrel shows how all of this is kind of centrifugal force, inexorably pulling the three of them apart.

Maybe nothing very difficult or unexpected happens in this film, and yet there is something adult and brooding about its direction and its dialogue, and, for all that, Garrel does he has no problem dwelling on the naked bodies of women (Gilles is never shown in the same way), he compliments them to make them real and interesting human beings. They are actually more real and more interesting than the man in their life.