Spring, 1958. 21-year-old Rose Pamphyle lives with her grouchy widower father who runs the village store. Engaged to the son of the local mechanic, she seems destined for the quiet, drudgery-filled life of a housewife. But that’s not the life Rose longs for. When she travels to Lisieux in Normandy, where charismatic insurance agency boss Louis Echard is advertising for a secretary, the ensuing interview is a disaster. But Rose reveals a special gift – she can type at extraordinary speed. Unwittingly, the young woman awakens the dormant sports fan in Louis. If she wants the job she’ll have to compete in a speed typing competition. Whatever sacrifices Rose must make to reach the top, Louis declares himself her trainer. He’ll turn her into the fastest girl not only in the country, but in the world! But a love of sport doesn’t always mix well with love itself …
It’s very rare for me to fall head over heels in love with a movie. There just aren’t many movies that capture my interest. Most movies that I enjoy watching are ones that most others find boring, not relevant to mainstream pop culture, or just plain uninteresting. I recently decided to crack open my dusty Netflix account & see what’s new. I found this movie called POPULAIRE. Well, this movie isn’t exactly new (it was released in 2012), but it was new on my Netflix menu list so I decided to watch it.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a romantic of any degree, but I do enjoy watching a romantic movie or read a romantic novel every now & again. When a romantic movie is good, I can watch it multiple times without getting sick of it. Such is the case for this movie. I am so in love with this movie Populaire, so much so that the scenes have been on loop in my mind from the time I finished watching the movie until now. I am even thinking about the scenes of this movie as I type this blog post. I just absolutely adore this movie!! Everything about this movie just oozes cuteness, sweetness & charm. My mind is swimming with so much to say about this movie, but I can’t seem to get all my thoughts into coherent sentences.
Let me start with the movie plot. It’s an incredibly adorable movie premise. A naïve & clumsy young woman leaves her small town to travel to a bigger city in order to follow her dreams. She encounters a handsome gentleman with a highly masculine personality & unbeknownst to both characters, sparks begin to fly. Next, cue the awkward road of events that leads to them separating, only to find out they love each other in the end. Finally, a happy ending occurs & all is right with the world. I genuinely & thoroughly enjoyed this movie plot. It was very sweet, fun & quite romantic (I actually swooned). I’m a bit of a sucker for lighthearted movies such as this one.
Also, I have a small confession to make. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always dreamed of having a secretarial type job…just like the character Rose Pamphyle does in this movie. (It was either that, or becoming a radio station DJ.) I’ve always liked using a typewriter, & even my very first experience on learning how to type was on a typewriter! Although, I kind of cheated by using an electric Xerox brand typewriter. At least Rose got to learn using a traditional typewriter…& lots of determination.
The next thing I loved about the movie, other than the fact that the time period was set in the late 1950s, which is one of my favorite eras in history, were the costumes the women in the movie wore as well as the hair & makeup. I’ve always professed that I’m not a huge fan of fashion, makeup, or getting dolled up in general. However, I just admire the fashion & the hairstyles of the 1950s & 60s eras. I was highly envious of Déborah-François’s character Rose Pamphyle in this movie. She always had a fresh looking face with just a hint of makeup in blush pink colors, & an artfully done hairstyle. I quite envied Rose’s fashion in this movie as well. I loved all of the dresses she wore in each of the scenes. The male characters in this movie were also very well dressed, including Rose’s father who lives in a small French town.
Next, this movie was set in various cities around France. I’ve always imagined France to be a place where romance blooms all around you. This movie really romanticized France for me, especially the backdrop of a late 1950s France with swanky automobiles & classy ladies dressed primly. Oh how I’ve always wanted to visit France, especially Paris. I most especially loved the part of the movie when Rose & Louis are in Paris for the National Speed Typing Championships. Rose chooses to get dolled up for the event, & that’s when Louis finally sees her as a sexy, attractive woman. Of course Le Sexy Time ensues, & that scene was both tender & hot all at the same time. That was when I truly believed that Rose & Louis were meant to be together. But then Louis has to screw things up by becoming insecure & telling Rose that she should move on from her measly little job in her measly little town now that she’s become the country’s new media darling. Then Rose actually moves up to a larger company, only to realize that she was perfectly happy where she was from the beginning. Obviously love conquers in the end & the two main characters end up falling into each others arms at the International Speed Typing Championships, & Rose Pamphyle has become my all-time favorite female movie character. Cheers!