As the clouds of World War I gather over Europe, a beautiful French chambermaid (Julie Delpy) takes a job at an English-run boardinghouse in Paris, where she’s seduced by a handsome German gentleman (Shaun Dingwall) and then dumped for a wealthy American tourist. The political allegory promised by this diagrammatic plot never really materializes (which may be just as well), and the characters are too sketchy for this 2001 Belgian feature to rise above melodrama. Delpy is a Gallic angel, ogled by the male guests and appalled by her employers’ casual cruelty; the German’s shabby treatment of her is neither explained by his rationalizations (she’s too good for him, you see) nor excused by his adoration of her picture in a foxhole some time later. Director Frank Van Passel adds fanciful visuals reminiscent of Amelie, and Shirley Henderson, Harriet Walter, and Timothy West deliver some stringent comedy as backbiting Brits; these are small but welcome pleasures in a movie that never quite figures out what it’s after. In English and subtitled French. 114 min.