Wednesday 30 October 2013

Boyfriends and Girlfriends [1987]

Boyfriends and Girlfriends (aka My Boyfriend’s Girlfriend), the final entry in Rohmer’s 6-film ‘Comédies et Proverbes’ series, his charming and melancholic examinations of matters of the heart and male-female equation among the urban French and the associated moral subtexts, quite easily had the most unconditionally optimistic ending of the lot. Nevertheless, the protagonist did have to traverse the quintessentially Rohmeresque path of craving, confusion, heartbreak and ultimately reconciliation with oneself, and was set against the backdrop of an ultra-modern Parisian suburb that subtly emphasized on the age-old nature of what the protagonist experiences and realizes. Blanche (Emmanuelle Chaulet) is a shy and emotional young lady working at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and resigned to a life of loneliness. Her chance meeting with and befriending of Lea (Sophie Renoir), a vivacious young student, both heightens and resolves her crisis. Lea is in a relationship with Fabien (Eric Viellard), who has a conservative and serious disposition, while Blanche becomes infatuated with Alexandre (François-Eric Gendron), a dashing Don Juan. Blanche’s cute looks, boyish figure and introverted nature formed a striking contrast with Lea’s sensuous looks, svelte figure and bohemian lifestyle, thus making their seemingly preferred pairings bound to fail which in turn increased their dissatisfaction and inner complications; the gently swaying but essentially straightforward storyline thus told how they come to realize that they’re on the wrong boat and how circumstances lead them to switch places, thus leading the film to a logically understandable even if decidedly pre-determined finale. The final scene, where each briefly misunderstands the other before the convenient resolution, cheekily drove home the ironies that they had gone through.

Director: Eric Rohmer
Genre: Drama/Romantic Comedy/Psychological Drama
Language: French
Country: France

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