The Young Girls is more optimistic, though not necessarily more convincing, than the bittersweet Umbrellas and the earlier Lola. (Demy considered the three films a romantic trilogy.) Michel Legrand's score is a dull rehash of the one he wrote for Umbrellas (the advantage is that you won't wake up for weeks singing "I will wait for you"), and the script is thin and meandering. The American dancer-actors (in addition to Kelly, there's George Chakiris, of West Side Story fame, and Grover Dale) are game but a bit out of their element. The women, however, are wonderful. Darrieux is rueful and worldly-wise (more than anything else in the film, her character is the inspiration for Chantal Akerman's more radical musical The Golden Eighties, a/k/a Window Shopping). Deneuve and Dorléac are stylish, smart, and spirited, and their awkwardness as dancers makes them even more winning.


Next Stop, Wonderland
Directed by Brad Anderson
Written by Anderson and Lyn Vaus
A Miramax release
Opens August 21

The Young Girls of Rochefort
Written and directed by Jacques Demy
A Miramax Zoe release
At Film Forum

Awash in lemon and peach, lavender and baby blue, Young Girls of Rochefort floats from one color-coordinated moment to the next. It earns a place in history by virtue of its production design, which, in this newly restored, wide-screen color version, looks more sweetly camp than ever.

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