The Young Girls of Rochefort

The Young Girls of Rochefort

By Jacques Demy - 2h01 - 1967 (France)
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The Young Girls of Rochefort
Audience 7+

Synopsis

On a bright summer morning, a travelling fair crosses the transporter bridge leading to Rochefort. It sets up in the main square, where Yvonne runs a café. Yvonne has three children: twin girls Delphine and Solange, the first a dance instructor and the second a music teacher, and Boubou, a 10-year-old boy. Maxence, a painter and sailor, often comes to the café to share his joys and troubles with Yvonne, who in turn tell hers to him. There is also Subtil Dutrouz, a regular customer, and the waitress Josette. Yvonne pines for the love she ran away from 10 years ago. Delphine and Solange dream of meeting Mr Right and "heading up to Paris". Maxence has painted his ideal woman. Delphine discovers the painting by chance. She sees herself in it and falls in love with the painter without ever having met him. The dancers in the fair run off with sailors because they are much more fun. Amid rhymes and encounters, games of hide and seek and dancing and singing, will each of the love-lorn characters find their missing halves, from which destiny seems to enjoy keeping them apart?

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Benshi's review
Benshi's review

The Young Girls of Rochefort is a musical comedy that was shot in Rochefort in the summer of 1966. The town was completely transformed for it, with facades, shutters, fire hydrants, fountains and all sorts of urban furniture carefully painted by the set designer Bernard Evein as well as by Jacques Demy himself. Demy loved this town and the military architecture that inspired the ballet sequences. He was particularly fond of the main square. The revamped town immediately conjures the film's joyous and enchanting atmosphere. The fascinating magic of Jacques Demy's creative universe derives from the subtle blend of American influences and French roots. The alchemy bears some of the same qualities as the Recette du Cake d'Amour from Donkey Skin. The Young Girls of Rochefort is inspired directly by the classics from the golden age of Hollywood musicals, from Singin' in the Rain to An American in Paris and West Side Story. This homage is reflected in the presence of the legendary Gene Kelly and George Chakiris (who played Bernardo in West Side Story). This is a classic musical comedy with a story interspersed with singing and dancing. But the atmosphere (sets, themes and actors) is distinctively French, with songs and dialogues written by Jacques Demy and music by Michel Legrand. The duo's style, mixing humour, melancholy and lyricism was already apparent in a more sombre tone in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. But here it adds vibrancy to the joy and amazing colours of the feelings. "A light film about serious things" is how Demy summed up The Young Girls of Rochefort. It is a romantic ballet, a fairytale in which women look for their prince charming.

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Top reasons to watch this film !

  • 1 For the good mood that this film puts us into straight away
  • 2 For the delicious humour in the words and dialogues
  • 3 For the music that makes us want to dance

Who is it aimed at ?

For age 7 and over, as the joy, colours and whirlwind lives will instantly delight children. And the words of the songs, carried by the lovely melodies of Michel Legrand, will leave a lasting impression!

Themes and topics

Musical Dance Music Tales and legends
Related films
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