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Review: A Rain Love – Loving in the Rain (1974)

Directed by: Jean-Claude Brialy | 105 minutes | , | Actors: Romy Schneider, , , Mehdi El Glaoui, Suzanne Flon, Jean-Claude Brialy, , , Pierre Mirat, Albert Michel, , Roselyne Vuillaume, , , , , , Arlette Gilbert, , , Michel Piccoli, ,

‘Un amour de pluie’ is a strongly acted film, in which not much happens. The screenplay has no surprises and the print ripples on, so that the viewer, who is determined to watch the film, will undoubtedly consult the clock regularly. A mother and her fourteen-year-old daughter spend a holiday in Vittel. The father – who remains off-screen throughout the film and whose voice is spoken on the phone by Michel Piccoli – is also said to spend a relaxing period with his family, but due to the pressure at work, he fails. The family has been coming to the hotel for years and are welcome guests.

Elizabeth (Romy Schneider) leaves her daughter free to do whatever she wants, from time to time they do something together, such as visiting an exhibition, a movie or a dinner in the hotel. For the first time this year they even have rooms on different floors. Cécile (Bénédicte Bucher) is an attractive girl who manages to arouse the interest of a boy who works at the hotel. Georges – called Jojo by his friends – works in the hotel kitchen to save up for a moped. The love between the two soon blossoms, although most dates are interrupted abruptly: either Cécile suddenly walks away, or it is Georges who suddenly decides that he has to go to work.

The relationship Elizabeth gets with the Italian charmer Giovanni begins just as vaguely. She asks him what his first name is, followed by a discussion about how women, who are seasoned in it, seduce men and in which Elizabeth more or less denies asking the question. Asking questions and not answering actually continues throughout the movie. Perhaps the intention was to give the characters such an air of , but for the viewer it is annoying. Nice is the scene in which Giovanni makes fun of Elizabeth by calling her to tell her that he has suddenly gone abroad.

Both relationships will come to nothing, filmmaker Jean-Claude Brialy makes no secret of that. The film therefore has no unexpected plot twists. Also visually there is not much to enjoy: ‘Un amour de pluie’ offers a number of beautiful pictures, but given the parallel infatuation of mother and daughter, much more could have been done with it. Some scenes are out of place, such as the one in which Elizabeth takes part in a séance and the one in which Cécile lies down in a coffin made by Georges’ father. The hotel staff also get some nonsensical screen time, which adds nothing to the story, but only increases the length of time unnecessarily. It is a pity that a talented cast, in which Romy Schneider naturally stands out, remains so unused in a meaningless story.

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