the young girls of rochefort

released: 1967

directed by: Jacques Demy


written by: David Botros


Ya like La La Land?

Me too.

How about the French? Do you like the French?

I sure do. (Read: I think I do?)

Take the opening scene of La La Land, stretch it so it’s a couple of hours long, and set it in the most picturesque little French town you can imagine:

That’s this movie.

It’s designed to give you as much joy as possible.

Over the course of a few days, we weave in and out of the lives of a dozen characters.

And as the musical numbers progress they start to interconnect in front of our eyes.

The crazy thing is there’s no conflict, no real drama to keep you invested –

And yet you can’t look away.

Maybe that’s because of the visually popping wardrobes and set design, or the expertly choreographed dance sequences (brought to you by Gene Kelly!) who’s actually in the movie and dare I say I could not stop smiling when he was.

But that still doesn’t explain why I was so invested.

In truth, the film plays like a romcom where the audience is always two steps ahead of the characters.

We are constantly waiting for them to run into each other like pieces of a puzzle; the closer they get, the more you want to jump into the screen and shove ’em together.

Director Jacques Demy is careful to never make it frustrating.

If anything, the pacing is akin to a summer breeze.

Shots would last for minutes on end, oftentimes flowing from one point of view to another.

And I must address: the music by Michel Legrand.

It’s witty, it’s lively, it’s meaningful to the story, and above all it is fun.

To be honest, I think this is one of the rare cases I’ve seen where the story in a musical is more appealing than the visuals, which are in and of themselves incredible.

Hell, even when they’re not singing, they’re rhyming!


An uplifting gem to say the least.

Copyright © 2021 David Botros