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Film / Suzanne's Career

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Suzanne's Career (French: La Carrière de Suzanne) is a 1963 film (at 54 minutes, it gets variously grouped as a short, a featurette and a short feature) written and directed by Éric Rohmer, the second of his Six Moral Tales.

Bertrand (Philippe Beuzen) is a pharmacy student in Paris. One day he goes to a cafè with his friend Guillaume (Christian Charrière), and they encounter Suzanne (Catherine Sée), a part-time student and office worker, who is cute, intelligent and charming, but also seems a bit naïve. Guillaume, a Casanova Wannabe, very brazenly attempts to seduce her, and she falls in love with him. But Guillaume sees her as just another conquest and continues to hang out with her mainly as a courtesy. To make him jealous, Suzanne starts pursuing Bertrand, who sees her as a bit of a pest and a distraction from the woman he really loves, her friend Sophie (Diane Wilkinson). Ultimately, Suzanne spends the night with Bertrand, not as a lover but as a guest when she can't afford to get home. The next morning after she leaves, Bertrand discovers that some money that he'd hidden in a book had been stolen. He realizes that Suzanne might be more clever and complex than he'd suspected.

Like its companion piece The Bakery Girl of Monceau, it didn't get a theatrical release until 1974, but it aired on French television in prime time in 1966, giving Rohmer his first widespread exposure as director since the release of his debut The Sign of Leo in 1959.

This film contains examples of:

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Definitely between Bertrand and Suzanne, though they don't quite seem to know what to do about it.
  • Brainy Brunette: Suzanne, who's studying Italian at the start of the film.
  • Gold Digger: Suzanne comes off more-and-more as one over the course of the film, which seems to be the "career" mentioned in the title.
  • Has a Type: Bertrand notes that Guillaume seems to pursue small, curvy women like Suzanne.
  • Really Gets Around: Guillaume, but also Suzanne, who's juggling several boyfriends over the course of the story.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Who stole Bertrand's money: Suzanne or Guillaume? We'll never know.
  • Starving Student: Bertrand lives in a cheap hotel while going to school.