La Discrete

When a self-centered, rakish, and somewhat dandyish French writer is jilted by his lover, an older friend persuades him to hatch a revenge plot against women in general by hiring a young typist, getting her to fall in love with him, and then leaving her. But the typist he selects is a lot more than he bargained for. In his first feature (1990) Christian Vincent shows a remarkable flair for handling his talented castFabrice Luchini, a veteran of many Rohmer films, is especially impressive as the writerand, with the help of Jean-Pierre Ronssin, offers them a well-measured script to deliver his bittersweet observations. Apart from a few well-placed 17th- and 18th-century references, this is too barbed to qualify as Rohmer-esque, but it’s certainly literate and funny. With Marie Bunel, Maurice Garrel, and Judith Henry. (JR)

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