Same Old Song
Time Out saysDedicated to Dennis Potter, this borrows his idea of having characters burst into lip synched song to express the feelings they cannot voice in ordinary conversation. This doesn't work quite the same way with French chansons as it did with Anglo-American standards (although there is a delicious moment when Jane Birkin, doing a cameo, 'sings' a snatch of one of her own songs), but the real problem is that Resnais remains fixated on the toothless bourgeois satire which has dominated his work since Mélo. The characters here - an unhappy salesman who writes radio plays on the side, a tourist guide, a ruthless property developer - are simply too banal for their romantic longings and mis-understandings to matter to most viewers. And that fatally weakens Resnais' point that clichéd passions simmer beneath the blandest exteriors.