Movie Review: 'Tale of Springtime'
No filmmaker alive has done more to illuminate the magical, transformative qualities of conversation than the French director Eric Rohmer. When he scores, as in his 1986 masterpiece, Summer, he seems to reveal all the invisible forces that draw people into one another’s orbits. When he misfires, as in the new Tale of Springtime, his films play like pleasant but mediocre dates — the characters talk without really connecting, and by the end you’re not sure whether the whole encounter was really worth the effort. Tale of Springtime is an offbeat oedipal comedy about a beautiful young philosophy teacher (Anne Teyssèdre), a 40-ish stud (Hugues Quester), and his irritatingly precocious daughter (Florence Darel), who tries to push the two of them together. The movie is an airy conceit that never becomes more than a conceit.