While easy on the eyes, this film fumbles the story. Chekhov told a pretty conventional story, in The Lady with the Little Dog. It’s a love story but a love story ultimately skeptical of love. The Lovers tells a pretty unconventional story, but it feels so conventional. I think Malle is trying to make the same point as Chekhov but instead he falls victim to the bane of French film: he gets tripped up in style.