|Beatrice Romand and Arielle Dombasile as Sabine and Clarisse|
Le beau mariage is a delightful film that encompasses many of the features of a Shakespeare romantic comedy.
The action centres around Sabine, the plucky, self-confident heroine, who abruptly ends an affair with Simon, a married man, and embarks upon a quest to find a husband. Like Rosalind in As You Like It, Sabine has an inseparable friend, Clarisse, in whom she confides her deepest feelings. At first Clarisse is bemused by Sabine's impulsive decision, then later she introduces Sabine to her cousin Edmond, a 35 year old lawyer. Sabine decides on the instant that Edmond is the one. Unfortunately for Sabine, Edmond has other plans.
Sabine tells her mother of her decision to marry Edmond, and in shocked when her mother suggests that they live together rather than marry. It is not the suggestion per se that shocks Sabine, after all had she not just ended an adulterous affair with a married man? What shocked Sabine was that the suggestion should come from her mother.
The rest of the film is devoted to Sabine's pursuit of the unwilling Edmond. She invites him to her birthday party, but he has to leave abruptly. She bombards him with telephone calls, but he is never available. Then, in a final act, she confronts him in his office in Paris, where Edmond tells her the blunt reality that he is not in love with her and does not want to marry her.
Sabine responds in the time-honoured manner of the romantic heroine. "Who said anything about marriage?" she demands, and in an outburst of feminine fickleness tells Edmond that if she did wish to marry there are millions of men who are younger, handsomer and more interesting that he. She calls him a hypocrite, and then she storms out of his office, brusquely pushing aside one of his lady clients in the process.
But her quest to find a husband is undaunted, and the film ends with Sabine on a train from her home in Le Mans to Paris, exchanging furtive glances with a young man sitting opposite.
The film was written and directed by Eric Rohmer, with Beatrice Romand as Sabine, André Dussolier as Edmond, and Arielle Dombasile as Clarisse.