Combustible Celluloid Review - Boyfriends and Girlfriends (1987), Eric Rohmer, Eric Rohmer, Emmanuelle Chaulet, Sophie Renoir, Anne-Laure Meury, François-Éric Gendron, Éric Viellard
Combustible Celluloid
Stream it:
Own it:
With: Emmanuelle Chaulet, Sophie Renoir, Anne-Laure Meury, François-Éric Gendron, Éric Viellard
Written by: Eric Rohmer
Directed by: Eric Rohmer
MPAA Rating: PG
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 107
Date: 08/26/1987

Boyfriends and Girlfriends (1987)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Ami Dearest

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This sixth entry in Éric Rohmer's "Comedies & Proverbs" series is one of his shallowest films, but it's not necessarily the film itself that's shallow; it's the characters. It's an intelligent film about shallow people, filled with the director's usual observant touches. It's set in a town outside Paris that resembles a shopping mall, adding to the film's atmosphere. Blanche (Emmanuelle Chaulet) has lunch with Léa (Sophie Renoir). She meet's Léa's friend Alexandre (François-Éric Gendron) and finds him attractive and charming.

Meanwhile, Léa is tired of her boyfriend, Fabien (Éric Viellard), and after he and Blanche accidentally bump into each other, the decide to go wind-surfing together. It's not hard to figure out that everyone will swap lovers, and Rohmer even brings this point home as they meet up wearing color-coded clothing (lovers here are like fashion, as Roger Ebert pointed out in his review). But the point is not what happens, but how it happens, and Rohmer is a master of this kind of thing. The proverb here is "The friends of my friends are my friends."

Metrograph Pictures and Kino Lorber's excellent 2023 Blu-ray release is a happy occasion, given that much of Rohmer's middle-to-late-period output has been passed over in the Blu-ray age (and early DVD transfers are particularly abysmal). Boyfriends and Girlfriends is being released alongside The Aviator's Wife (1981) and Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (1987). This disc includes a commentary track by film historian Adrian Martin and a re-release trailer. Recommended.

Movies Unlimtied