A young woman tests the limits of her romantic relationship by concurrently experimenting with being ‘single’ in one of Rohmer’s bleaker offerings on the existential nature of love.
Dir. Eric Rohmer
1984 | France | Comedy/Drama/Romance | 102 mins | 1.37:1 | French
Not rated – likely to be M18 for nudity
Cast: Pascale Ogier, Tcheky Karyo, Fabrice Luchini
Plot: Fed up with the suburbs and her sweet, steady boyfriend, young interior decorator Louise independently decides to take a pied-à-terre apartment in Paris where she can sample the single life
Awards: Won Best Actress & Nom. for Golden Lion (Venice)
Source: Les Films du Losange
Subject Matter: Moderate – Love, Relationships
Narrative Style: Straightforward
Audience Type: Slightly Arthouse
Many adore this film, but I’m a bit muted in my enthusiasm for it. Full Moon in Paris is Eric Rohmer’s fourth ‘Comedies & Proverbs’ movie after The Aviator’s Wife (1981), A Good Marriage (1982) and Pauline at the Beach (1983)—unfortunately, it is the one that I least resonate with thus far.
But don’t get me wrong, it is a decent work that is very much in the conversational Rohmer style, though this is probably one of his bleaker offerings.
Pascale Ogier, who won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival (but died of a heart attack shortly after at age 25), plays Louise, a young woman who lives with Remi, a financially-stable older man in love with her but doesn’t like to socialise. Louise, on the other hand, loves going out, meeting friends and dancing in clubs.
In a bold move, she tests the limits of her romantic relationship with Remi by concurrently experimenting with being ‘single’—this means late nights out and occasionally staying in a pied-à-terre to the chagrin of her protective boyfriend. But she still loves him dearly…
This is essentially the narrative of Full Moon in Paris as Rohmer gives the nature of love a more existential treatment than usual. It doesn’t always excite as a film and the stakes in this one are more personal than inter-relational, which may be slightly unusual for Rohmer.
Louise is a headstrong woman with set ideals and values, but her one-way ticket approach to navigating the slippery slopes of romance would lead to an inevitable conclusion that only she doesn’t see coming.