Madame Emery Genevieve's widowed mother owns a small umbrella shop that is having financial difficulty. Mrs. Emery finds out about Genevieve's relationship, and explains that she's to young and needs to wait for marriage. Genevieve tells her mom that she can't live without him.
Guy was raised by his aunt Elise. She understands his love for her, but feels that she might be alone. Elise is ill and has a family friend Madeline taking care of her. Madeline has feelings for Guy that he is unaware of.
When Genevieve and Guy decide that they do want to get married soon, Guy ends up receiving a notice that he's being sent off to the Algerian war for two years. Genevieve is completely devastated by this news. The night before he has to leave they make love. She begs him the next day not to leave. But he has to go.
Mrs. Emery notices Genevieve is pale, and tired all the time. Genevieve is saddened that she has only received a couple of letters from Guy in the past couple of months. She starts questioning his love for her. Once pushed about her health Genevieve confesses to her mother that she's pregnant with Guy's baby. Mrs. Emery tells Genevieve that their shop is in serious financial trouble and doesn't know what to do.
Genevieve suggest that she sell her jewelry in order to bail them out. At first reluctant, she agrees. They go to a local jeweler who explains that he could only give a fraction of what they're worth. In the shop with them is Mr. Cossard a rich business man, he overhears the plight and offers to buy them. Mrs. Emery overly grateful accepts, and offers him to come to dinner. He comes over to dinner, and is visibly taken by Genevieve, she on the other hand is distracted by her own misery.
Cossard asks Mrs. Emery for Genevieve's hand. She lets him know it's up to her. In the end Genevieve is taken by Cossard and the fact that he accepts her pregnancy and loves them both. They marry and move away.
Guy comes home from war hears the news and is devastated. His aunt a few weeks later passes. Guy is completely depressed, he begs Madeline to stay with him. Madeline asks if he wants to really be with her, or is he not over Genevieve. He chooses Madeline, they marry, have a child, and open a gas station car/shop with the money that aunt Elise left him in his inheritance. The last scene is of Guy and Genevieve meeting again, and resolve their issues.
They ended up happy but not in the way they had originally wished.
The use of singing, and color put the movie in a hyper-unrealistic vision. But was able to tell a common place story of, marring for money, marring 2nd choice, and settling for people. Unrealistic medium to tell a common story was interestingly put together.
The intro was visually one of my favorites with the overhead shots. The use of matching set elements colors within a shot was unique. Taking a protagonist and putting them in angelic-like colors, and putting the antagonist in bold, bright colors was purposeful and helpful in telling the story.