“Thanks to science, what was once a mystery can now be controlled and analyzed.”
A politically ambitious scientist (Paul Meurisse) promoting the societal benefits of artificial insemination finds himself falling for a voluptuous country girl (Catherine Rouvel) who wants a baby.
The central premise of this fantasy-laced sex comedy by Jean Renoir — that one must give in to bodily passions rather than attempting to rationalize all aspects of life — ultimately fails to provide enough narrative juice to bolster its rather innocuous storyline and forgettable protagonists. While Renoir’s point remains just as viable and important as ever, it’s been explored elsewhere — and to greater effect — by many other filmmakers (c.f. Woody Allen’s Sleeper, for example). Shot at his father’s country home in the South of France, Picnic on the Grass is always pleasing to look at, but never really all that engaging.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Beautiful nature imagery
No; this one is strictly must-see for Renoir fans. Listed as a film with Historical importance and a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.