The quiet Mediterranean resort of Cassis is the setting for this story. Gabriel Marcassus, a man traveling to Spain in his Cadillac has car troubles. He happens to be right in front of a small tourist hotel and goes for help. His car needs to be checked because transmission problems. He has no choice but to stay at the hotel.
For lunch, Gabriel comes to the dining area, but all tables are taken. The man in charge goes to a woman to ask if Gabriel can share her table. It is clearly this woman wants no contact with other guests; she even eats sitting with her back to the rest of the dining room. When asked, she decides to let Gabriel sit with her. The experience is not a happy one for her.
The lady turns out to be Muriel Bouchon, a Parisian on vacation. She is rather shy and into herself. Muriel stays away in the beach area, but Gabriel finds his way to bring his towel close to where she sunbathes. The two form a strange bond, staying away from most public contact, but it is inevitable they will be seeing a lot of each other in such a small place.
The hotel is peculiar. The maids wear a mini dress that is revealing. Gabriel's maid is Vicka, a vivacious young woman whose good looks charm him. Being in close proximity gives him a heady feeling, although nothing improper goes between them. Another guest is a pastor whose sits on the table next to Gabriel. His wife is odd. She sports wounds in her feet and hands, perhaps a sign of being a stigmata.
In the end, Muriel accepts the idea of being with Gabriel, a good natured man who does not want to force her into a sexual relationship, and as a fellow Parisian, he is someone she might like to see when the vacation is over. As the end of her stay nears, Gabriel asks for an address and phone number, and to his amazement he is rewarded.
A delightful French comedy from 1972. Directed by Jean-Pierre Blanc, the film brings us to share a few summer days in good company. M. Blanc also wrote the screenplay, which is pleasant, like a summer day at the beach. Muriel is a shy woman who wants to stay by herself. She comes to accept the presence of Gabriel because she realizes he is a good guy who does not threaten her in any way. Gabriel, in turn, while liking Muriel, is unable to be forward enough to ask for something he will be turned down. Politeness reigns during the time they spend together.
An impressive Annie Girardot, an actress who was a favorite during the 1960s and 70s in the French cinema. She does not disappoint with her Muriel, whom she has fun while she was playing her. Philippe Noiret, a colossal figure in the last half of the French cinema makes an adorable Gabriel, a man any woman would love to have around because of his kindness. There is an undercurrent going on between the two main characters that work fine within the context of the film. The excellent supporting cast includes the great Michel Lonsdale, Marthe Keller, Edith Scob and a glimpse of Maria Schneider.