THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG. Well, I never would have guessed this.
THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT is the story of two happy young girls (Catherine Deneuve and her real-life sister Francoise Dorleac) in the town of Rochefort. They teach instruments and dancing to young kids and in their spare time they happily dance and sing all over the joint. Nobody finds this strange because everybody happily sings and dances almost nonstop in Rochefort! It's like an insane asylum. Most of the action takes place around the main square. You got the two girls, their mom, a music shop owner, a pretty waitress, some motorcycle salesmen, sailors, a painter, Gene Kelly...Gene Kelly?!!! That's right. Around the 45 minute mark Gene Kelly, Monsieur Twinkle Toes himself, comes strolling onscreen and my eyes popped out. What's he doing here? Singing and dancing apparently. The singing sounded to be dubbed, but his French dialogue was impressive.
Anyway, the story is pretty basic: people longing to fall in love, blah, blah,blah, people fall in love, The End. None of it seems to be taken seriously. The dancing and the feel of the film seem to be more important. That said, I wasn't feeling it. Some of the songs were nice, but the majority of them left me flat. The dancing was alright, but nothing jawdropping. Overall, it was a tolerable watch, but I was really hoping for something better.
One interesting thing I did notice was in inclusion of Michel Piccoli who would also appear the same year with Catherine in BELLE DE JOUR, but in a much darker role.