This pessimistic romance, a vehicle for teenage French pop star Paradis, is a self-conscious and occasionally nauseating tale of amour fou, assembled with some skill from a collection of clichés both banal and exploitative. Paradis plays a troubled (but brilliant) 17-year-old school truant who becomes passionately involved with a 50-year-old married philosophy teacher. There are reasons for her moody, distracted personality: her psychiatrist dad has absented himself to Paris, leaving her alone amid the soulless concrete modernity of St Etienne; her mother is suicidal; her brothers are hardened delinquents; and she herself has a murky history of child prostitution. Paradis doesn't have to act much: the emphasis is on penetrating glances, pulling on jeans, coquettish pawing and petulant tantrums. Crémer provides the film's backbone, bringing intelligence and feeling to the role of a man swamped by an impossible, unwanted, but irresistible passion.