Simon secretly loves Camille. Camille, due to a misunderstanding, falls for Marc Duveyrier. Marc, a handsome realtor, who's also Simon's boss, is trying to sell an apartment to Odile Lalande, Camille's sister. Odile really wants this apartment, despite the silent disapproval of her husband, Claude. Claude, somewhat wan in character, finds it hard to stomach the reappearance, after many years, of Nicolas. Nicolas, an old friend of Odile's becomes the confidant of Simon... The dialogue is in part made up of extracts of French hit songs, sung in situation by the actors.
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"I'm not a great fan of musical comedies, and our major worry in the beginning was: that the sung passage weren't just sketches, that they be part and parcel of the plot and the emotions. And they're not complete songs; it's three lines here, three lines there... and that'd never been done." (Jean-Pierre Bacri)
"Alain had wanted to do a homage to the films of Potter (''The Singing Detective'', ''Pennies from Heaven'' and ''Lipstick on your Collar''...) which he showed us. And I felt the same thing as when he'd talked to us about ''Smoking''... I thought, ''It's daring, it's Resnais, I want to do it''. He said: "I don't know if it's going to work, but I really want to give it a try''. He's a creator, like a painter, who doesn't just want to paint a pretty picture, but to invent something." (Agnès Jaoui)