4 Days in France ★★★½

Pierre, a 30-something gay Parisian, leaves his sleeping lover Paul, and sets out alone on an automobile odyssey of sex and self-discovery through southeastern France. Pierre, good looking and modern, utilizes the Grindr app to search out tricks and trysting spots. And upon awakening, Paul, bereft, sets out to find his errant lover using the same smartphone app. That's about it for plot. But the film was more travelogue and reverie than sex tour (in fact the most erotic scene finds Pierre making love to a blank motel wall.) Pierre was played by Pascal Cervo with a stolid reserve that concealed a caring nature. Like a gay Odysseus, he encountered several vivid, quirky personalities on his travels. The scenery, which stretched from peaceful green forests to the snow capped Alps, was the real star of the film. One could fall in love with the French countryside, even as the story occasionally bogged down in Pierre's passivity and the lethargic pacing of the scenario. But for me, I was never bored. I found much to identify with, vicariously living Pierre's journey along with him. Director Reybaud and his intriguing cast conveyed just the right balance of real and neurotic, beauty and ugliness. I left the theater feeling more optimistic about life and love than when I entered.