Lola, a young, energetic and cheerful student lives in Paris. She’s preparing to sit her law thesis, and works part-time at Chloroville, “Our green fingers look after your interior plants”. She has split up with Simon, a lawyer in his thirties who is always busy defending “the trial of his life”. Their stormy relationship held Lola back, and although they’ll love each other forever, it won’t be on an everyday basis.
Lola lives in a studio apartment downstairs from her mother, Claire, and brother, Guillaume. He’s still at school, but Lola and Guillaume are very close, “worse than twins”, and they both adore their mother: she’s the center of their existence, and they’re the center of hers. A joyous atmosphere reigns despite their different personalities.
Lola and Corinne, decked out in Chloroville overalls, work together and come across some strange people while going about their business. Lola is particularly intrigued by an opera singer, and both women fall for the same writer who writes in cafes and photographs women’s faces hoping to create a portrait of the ideal woman.
Claire, a postcard sales rep, goes on vacation with a girlfriend in Italy. She sends her children postcards, but Lola and Guillaume are bewildered by their casual tone; they miss their mother and wonder when she’s going to come home. Her lover, a mysterious latino, is no better informed of what she’s up to. Two months have gone by, and yet Claire still gives no sign of when she’ll be back.
Then Guillaume gets a postcard that Claire has addressed to herself, wishing herself an enigmatic happy return voyage. He’s delighted, Lola can’t help but say, “she doesn’t get any better with age.”
One night, Claire, wearing dark glasses and a trench coat, gets out of a cab in front of her building. She looks up at the apartment, appears shaken and lost, then turns away and asks the cabdriver to take her to a nearby hotel. The return home will be for later, right now it’s too hard. She sees Simon, gets news about her children, prepares to be by Lola’s side when she finishes her studies.
The children are overjoyed to see their mother again, despite the news she brings them, the good… and the bad.