You probably haven’t heard of this one, and that’s okay. Even my French film professor hadn’t heard of it, and, I mean, he teaches film.
It’s simply one of the most delightful pictures I’ve ever seen, right up there with Singin’ in the Rain and The Sound of Music–and did I mention Gene Kelly is in this one? The music was composed by Oscar-winner Michel Legrand, it was directed by Palme D’Or-winner Jacques Demy, and it stars Catherine Deneuve. But enough rostering.
The story is this: Soldiers are in Rochefort momentarily, and Maxence is in love with Delphine (Deneuve), whom he’s never seen or met. He’s painted a portrait of her based on his dream, and she’s desperate to find the artist. Meanwhile, her sister, Solange, wants to meet American composer Andrew Miller (Kelly), a man who accidentally finds her music and falls in love with her talent. Sound confusing? The girls’ mother left a man named Simone Dame because she didn’t want to be known as Madame Dame, and now they’re in the same town and she regrets leaving him, the man who is her daughter’s mentor and a friend of Andrew Miller and a well-known shopkeeper who also loves her in return. Now it’s confusing. The bottom line is these people are running about, singing and dancing, running into everybody except the love of their lives. It’s wonderful and heartwarming, and this is a long paragraph.
You might find it hard to get a copy of this film, but it will be worth the effort. You don’t even have to like foreign films to fall in love. This film shows the world the way it should be, what with everybody wearing saturated, matching colors, where people sing and dance because they are so in love with perfect strangers. What more could you want?