This is not so much a film as a runaway train, so it's entirely fitting that parts of it occur on trains. On the 'Maine Océan' an exotic Brazilian dancer Dejanira (Rosa-Maria Gomes) has hardly any French, so in yet another of Jacques Rozier's exercises with language as non-communication, ticket inspectors Le Gallec (Bernard Ménez) and Lucien Pontoiseau (Luis Rego) – both clearly smitten by Dejanira's charms – struggle in a few words in French and a few in English to explain to her that her ticket is invalid because she hasn't had it composté: stamped. And then we have French lawyer Mimi De Saint Marc (Lydia Feld) intervene and try to sort the situation out with her limited Portuguese. Both Mimi and Dejanira almost instantly become bosom friends.
The two stop off in Angers as Mimi has to attend court and try to defend her client Marcel Petitgas (Yves Afonso), a fisherman accused of assaulting a bourgeois man in a supposed 'road rage' attack. Mimi again launches into a long, eloquent but meaningless so totally irrelevant discourse – obviously Rozier attacking the confusion which is language as well as the legal profession in general – but Lucien (being working class therefore a born loser (class is also a preoccupation of Rozier)) is given a suspended sentence and has to pay (not insignificant but not huge) costs in compensation: Mimi's incomprehensible words certainly have done some good.
Marcel too is in love with Dejanira and tells the lawyer and the dancer that they must visit L'Île d'Yeu (where he's from, and his accent is almost impossible to understand) – incidentally Éric Chevillard's childhood holiday home was in L'Île d'Yeu: irrelevant of course, but since we're talking absurdity.... And everyone (including the ticket inspectors) joins up there. There's an amazing dance and music session: why? You don't ask such stupid questions about Rozier's films, with Dejanira wriggling about almost naked.
Impresario Pedro De La Moccorra (Pedro Armendáriz Jr.) is controlling the impromptu session and tells Le Gallec that he could be the new Maurice Chevalier: time for Le Gallec to think of life change and think of the bright lights of the Big Apple. Unfortunately Le Gallec is thrown off the plane as it's leaving and about the last thirty minutes are spent in watching him hitch lifts on boats back, wading through the water to get to the road where he hitches his way back to get to work on time. As I said, you don't ask questions.
Some fans of Rozier's rate this above Du côté d'Orouët, and I can understand the reasoning.