The fifty-year-old man revitalised by a love affair with a twenty-year-old girl is one of life's clichés, but Schlöndorff's film, adapted from Max Frisch's novel Homo Faber (and filmed in English), also examines the price. Faber, laconically played by Shepard, is the rational man who has no time for emotion, and his relationships are cursory. Dodging an intimate dinner-for-two in his New York apartment, he makes his excuses, impulsively hops on a liner bound for France - and falls in love with fellow-passenger Delpy, of the Pre-Raphaelite looks. By the time they dock, they can't bear to say goodbye, and he hires a car to take her to Greece, where a tragic irony from the past awaits him. Unfortunately, audiences will see this coming a mile off, and may also resent the symbolic signposts. At least Schlöndorff isn't afraid of ideas, even if they derive from literary sources.