Eric Rohmer fans here in the USA to finally be able to see one of the loveliest of his several "tales," some 18 years after its original release throughout the rest of the world. Why A SUMMER'S TALE never made it here in any kind of theatrical release is a mystery to me, as his films have proven perennially popular on the U.S. arthouse circuit. No matter, since Big World Pictures, a relatively new distributor, has seen to it that the film had its belated theatrical release this past summer and now arrives on DVD.
Mevil Poupaud as a young man named Gaspard who begins the film semi-love-sick over one girl and eventually finds himself saddled -- due to his own hesitation, naivete, hypocrisy and sheer fear -- with two more. As usual, with Rohmer (the late filmmaker is shown at right), character is all, and I mean this is both senses of the word. Rohmer's movies are always character, rather than plot, driven. And it is the character of those characters that is most important. What kind of people are these, and how does this reflect on their actions and the consequences of same?
Amanda Langlet, above, right, whom many of us may have originally met as the youngster in Rohmer's earlier Pauline at the Beach). The scenes of dialog these two characters share are memorable indeed: witty, off-the-cuff, quite real and yet like little we've seen or heard elsewhere (except maybe in another Rohmer film).
Gwenaëlle Simon, above, left -- is immediately attracted to our boy, though he insists that girls this hot never are. They make a fine couple, never more so than when she is singing one of the songs he has recently composed (a rather nice one, too).
Aurelia Nolin, above, left) and proves to be... ah, but little surprises like this are part of what make Rohmer's films such fun. Again, character is all. And what interesting, well differentiated and thoroughly frustrating/captivating people this foursome proves to be.