By Mansel Stimpson - February 7-14, 1996

It's entirely appropriate that the one word which sums up the character of Eric Rohmer's latest film should be borrowed from the French: Rendez-vous In Paris is a divertissement to please all Francophiles.

Rohmer's film is one of several upcoming features which resurrects the portmanteau movie, offering not one but several tales. This particular example provides three episodes, each set in Paris and each dealing with young people and their romantic entanglements. Rohmer's ability in old age to present convincing portrayals of youngsters, often featuring players preciously unknown, is now legendary, and it is splendidly maintained here. The one major change is the absence of the philosophical talk characteristic of his work, the totally unpretentious tone of this film being set by the use of a song from a street-singer to link the three lightweight tales.

If the last episode concentrates on two very different women encountered by an artist (Michael Kraft) in the course of a single day, the other two feature couples. The second presents a woman (Aurore Rauscher) whose behaviour makes her rather tiresome, but the range of Parisian parks and locations where she meets the man in the palm of her hand provides an appeal of its own. The neatest section, about a girl suspecting her boyfriend of infidelity, is the first, and it's heroine, played by the sympathetic and engaging Clara Bellar, is the find of the film. Insubstantial but fetching, Rendez-vous In Paris is just the thing to lift you out of your British winter blues.

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