The three screenwriters of this film were all born before 1950, yet it aptly probes the experiences of several modern-day young people as they navigate their precarious romantic affairs. Veteran French director Philippe Garrel cowrote this with fellow luminaries Jean-Claude Carrière and Arlette Langmann, with whom he’s written his last couple features (Lover for a Day, In the Shadow of Women); it makes sense, then, that these films are of a piece in how they explore scenarios centered on younger people while still conveying hard-learned profundities about life. This in particular evokes a sublime futility that makes one question not just love, but existence itself. Luc (Logann Antuofermo), an assistant joiner who aspires to attend the École Boulle in Paris so that he may become a cabinet maker—the dream of his wizened and warmhearted father (André Wilms)—starts seeing Djemila (Oulaya Amamra). Soon after he takes up with Geneviève (Louise Chevillotte), and then Betsy (Souheila Yacoub). Luc is a cad, albeit a gentle one, who regularly mistreats the women in his life under the pretense of being skeptical about love; the tables are turned when he finally does fall in love with Betsy, only for her to require that her other lover join them in their small apartment. The pitfalls of unripe romance are balanced here by a distinct timelessness: cellphones are around but not omnipresent, and the characters haunt quaint cafes and inconspicuous back-alley discos. Renato Berta’s melancholy black-and-white cinematography and the tranquil soundtrack by Jean-Louis Aubert heighten the film’s elegiac sentiment. A choreographed dance scene at the aforementioned club feels somewhat out of place but injects the somber narrative with a feeling of life waiting to be lived; sporadic narration seems to warn, however, that this is a tale of the past, that the characters’ fates are already written.