A restaurant, at that special dinner hour. Everyone freed from their anxieties and obligations, in a good mood, open to conversation, just taking things easy. Things are humming between staff and clients. There's no harshness, no aggression. This particular restaurant can be found in a large city that might just be Rome. The owner, the beautiful wife of an older, depressed man, is secretly in love with an intellectual. While one of the waiters is secretly in love with her. This evening, she's expecting forty clients all with different backgrounds and interests. And every table tells a story. There are love stories: between two strangers, each sitting at a different table; between an old teacher and his student. There are family stories: a mother and daughter who don't get on, and at another table, a man with his two children who angrily accuse him of being a negligent father. Then there's the table of wealthy retailers, talking loud and fast… The gorgeous suburban girl being fought over by four passionate, naïve lovers… The teenagers celebrating the sixteenth birthday of the restaurant owner's granddaughter… The only thing bringing them close together is the decision to go out to dinner instead of staying at home in front of the television. Tonight they'll talk instead of listening.
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Flora displays self-sacrifice by devoting her life to others: she is there to welcome, to understand. Even if there’s no room left she’ll always manage to find a place at some table – she never throws anyone out. She has that nun-like side – “Suffer little children to come unto me!” – which is pretty unusual in Scola’s films, but which I liked enormously. She’s a friend who supports you, puts you at ease, in a restaurant where you might be intimidated…
Fanny Ardant, actress