Frederic is a lawyer living in the suburbs, and working in the city of Paris. He is married to Helene, who is pregnant with their second child. Frederic regrets being married and wants to be free, like when he was single. Soon enough, an old friend of Frederic, Chloe, returns to Paris and they both gradually become friends.
My seventh Rohmer film, is probably his most famous. It has a 7.8 IMDB score, and has been remade as 'I Think I Love My Wife' in 2007 by Chris Rock. After watching the fantastic 'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend', I was anticipating another great film. However this was not to be. I personally do not see why 'Love in the Afternoon' is considered his magnum opus.
This is the most "talkiest" Rohmer I have seen. It is what all the characters do in Rohmer films, but in this film it seems none of the characters shut up at all. That is how it feels after watching anyway. The best thing about the film is the fluidity. Everything flows at a pace and a scene is never longer than necessary. It does feel like a Truffaut film, due to the upbeat pace, but sadly, the film does not deliver like Truffaut does.
Despite this being made earlier than 'A Good Marriage' there is no sign of its naff aroma that plagued many of his 80s productions (except a turtleneck sweater). It does, however, feature some tedious characters. Frederic may seem fine at first, but as the film proceeds, I gradually hated him more and more. His wife just had a baby, and he insists of meeting Chloe to make him feel "free again". Chloe is equally as bad for encouraging him. This culminates in two irritating and punchable protagonists, which is never good. This is also told from the man's perspective, rarely done in a Rohmer film.
The two characters are portrayed by Bernard Verley (Frederic) and Zouzou (Chloe). The acting is average at best, but I think it's more the script which is the problem. There is only so much you can act when you are talking about love in a bedroom or a cafe. Maybe I have seen one too many of his films, but the constant talking crap never appealed to me. After the final film in the Rohmer box-set 'The Marquise of O', I plan to take a long, needed, break from Eric Rohmer.
I wasn't as bored in this one. The film is Rohmer at his most usual. It is not good or bad, just a considerable meh.