Delicate, enchanting, quirky, amusing, gently ironic, delightfully philosophic, disarmingly lightfooted and with subtly mordant undertones, Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle was a quintessential “Rohmeresque” gem. Made while he was concluding “Comédies et Proverbes”, it possessed most of the distinctive flavours of his marvelous 6-film series to even be considered an unofficial 7th entry. And, deftly ensconced within its witty, lighthearted edifice of four seriocomic episodes featuring an unlikely friendship between two young women with immensely contrasting background and nature – employing the classic trope of a jaded city person and an idealistic village person, and the inherent dichotomies that they must navigate through in order to know and understand each other – it was tenderly laced with observations on such topics as art versus commerce, rural idyll vis-à-vis urban cacophony, and perhaps most importantly when it comes to the French giant’s cinematic canon in general, viz. moral relativism (as opposed to dogmatic absolutism). The film begins with a chapter recounting the chance encounter between Reinette (Joëlle Miquel), an impetuous country girl and amateur painter with a rigorous moral code, and Mirabelle (Jessica Forde), a striking, self-assured and cynical Parisian girl with rather flexible beliefs of her own, at a tranquil village where the former lives, and how they start bonding despite being strangers and polar opposites. The narrative then switches to Paris where Reinette shifts to Mirabelle’s flat upon joining an art college in the city, and over the balance three chapters, we see them having eccentric “adventures” involving a hilariously rude café waiter, a kleptomaniac woman, a tragic hustler (Marie Rivière), and an impassive, canny art dealer (played with deadpan brilliance by Fabrice Luchini) who they plan to outfox.
Director: Eric Rohmer
Genre: Comedy/Comedy of Manners/Social Satire/Slice of Life/Buddy Film