Roman de Gare
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Crossed Tracks (Roman de gare) is a 2007 French film directed by Claude Lelouch (who appears in credits as Hervé Picard). The film follows a novelist, her ghost writer, and a wayward young woman as a chance encounter at a rest stop interrupts the delicate balance of their lives. French actor Dominique Pinon received wide praise for his rare turn as the film's leading man. The title roman de gare is French slang for "trashy novel one reads in a train or train station" similar to the English phrase "airport novel".
As the movie opens, a woman writer with a recently bestselling novel is being questioned about a murder. The story cuts to a young woman abandoned by her traveling companion at a roadside rest stop. A helpful man offers to give her a ride.
The story turns on a series of mysterious identities. There is an escaped rapist-killer with a penchant for magic tricks. There is a man who has abandoned his family. And there is a writer’s assistant. Which of these three is the helpful stranger?
He is especially suspicious as he begins secretly dictating into a recorder a story about a woman in danger. The man and woman travel from the rest stop to her parents’ home, where her daughter is also living. (The woman herself lives in Paris and claims to be a hairdresser.) The man bonds with the daughter and disappears with her for several hours...
By the end of the movie, the plot threads come together and the audience identifies each of the three mysterious characters, as well as the role of the woman writer.
Roman de Gare was released in the United States in April 2008 to positive reviews, earning a 87% rating on the popular review website Rotten Tomatoes.