Pauline at the Beach (1983)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Manners, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 29, 1983 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - France  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Craig Butler

Plot is rarely the strong point of Eric Rohmer's films; he tends to be much less interested in what characters are doing than in why they are doing them. This is very much the case with the lovely, fragile Pauline at the Beach, in which Rohmer gathers together a group of individuals, mixes them up in various pairings and then sits back to see how they come out. Clearly, there is more structure to the film than that, but it is Rohmer's gift to create films that have this natural, casual feeling to them, as if they happened more or less by chance. Witty, ironic, compassionate and observant, Pauline has a great deal to say about relationships and the roles people (consciously and unconsciously) assume around and with one other. Although Rohmer's pacing is deliberate, the film is never dull; rather, the director is giving the audience the time to experience and discover things along with the characters. Rohmer's cast is excellent, with young Amanda Langlet giving a performance of subtlety and assurance that is remarkable. Beautifully realized, Pauline is a treasure for movie fans that prefer films that whisper rather than boldly proclaim their charms.