For Reel

Pauline at the Beach (1983)
October 15, 2015, 10:19 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Eric Rohmer
4 Stars
Pauline at the BeachThe 15-year-old Pauline (Amanda Langlet) drifts through the background of countless shots in Pauline at the Beach, bearing witness to the romantic schemes played by the adults who occupy a seaside resort in Normandy. She, as it turns out, will not be impervious to these entanglements, later chastising her new boyfriend for his willingness to participate in what she calls, “their [adult] games.” This third entry of Eric Rohmer’s “Comedies and Proverbs” series invents six distinct characters who all play a part in what turns out to be a traditional sex farce. The irony is that they each delude themselves into either fervently playing into or actively betraying the role that they identify themselves with. Despite the way that the film foregrounds the incongruities in a character’s spoken philosophies vs. their actions, Rohmer isn’t so much interested in parading their naïveté as he is in finding the small tragedies and ironies that occur in their various romantic involvements. A comedy that plays like particularly tantalizing gossip, Pauline at the Beach exhibits Rohmer at his most gently amusing.