A couple puts faith in love to get them through times of extreme poverty in this comedy-drama that was a major box office success in its native France. Jeannette (Ariane Ascaride) is a single mother living in a working-class community in Marseilles; she tries to support herself and her two kids on her salary as a check-out girl at a supermarket and lives in an apartment complex where everyone is thrown into close proximity with everyone else (thankfully, they all get along). Marius (Gerard Meylan) is working as a security guard at a cement factory that has gone out of business; he's also squatting in the building, since the plant is soon to be demolished and he'll be needing his money later on. One day, Jeannette happens by the factory, and spotting several cans of paint, tries to take two of them home with her. Marius spots her and tries to chase her away, while she rails at him with curses against the capitalist system. The next day, an apologetic Marius appears at her doorstep, cans of paint in hand; the two soon become friendly, and a romance begins to bloom, though it quickly becomes obvious that Jeannette's romance novel fantasies about passionate embraces in the sunset are a bit off the mark from what the more pragmatic Marius has in mind. Ariane Ascaride won a Cesar Award (the French Oscar) for her performance in Marius Et Jeannette: Un Conte De L'Estaque; she's married to the film's director, Robert Guediguian.
by Mark Deming synopsis