Picks and Pans Review: Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle

updated 08/14/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/14/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Joelle Miquel, Jessica Forde

The delicate, whimsical films of director Eric (Chloe in the Afternoon, Pauline at the Beach) Rohmer are something like French pastry. The hidden delights of an eclair, perhaps. Or the fragility of a napoleon. No, it's more the airy, almost-not-there quality of a cream puff. Anyway, whatever it is, it's not a Twinkie.

Miquel and Forde are two young women—an aspiring artist and an ethnology student—who meet on a calm little country road in the summer and end up as roommates in Paris. Their languorous "adventures" have to do with such things as whether to give money to beggars and how to treat a rude waiter. The laughs are gentle and subtle. When Forde tells Miquel how tired she is of people who say everything twice, Miquel becomes indignant: "I don't repeat," she says. "I don't repeat."

Miquel, who did her own paintings (crude, delightful Dali-Magritte send-ups), is all earnest innocence. Though the strikingly beautiful Forde teases playfully, she is a loyal friend. Their affection seems genuine. But then Rohmer's genius for matching actresses is a crucial part of his talent. As much as anything that happens or is said, the rapport between the two young women makes this film just the thing for anyone who wants a sweet, light diversion. (Unrated) (In French with subtitles)

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