American novelist and WWII vet Bill Willis (Kristofferson) lives in 1960s Paris with his sexy, free-thinking and -drinking wife Marcella (Hershey), their adopted French son Billy (Gruen), and teenage daughter Channe, the center of the story. Her relationships with her brother and a rude (yet likable) classmate (Costanzo) provide much of the film's emotional punch. Bill develops heart problems and takes the family home to the States. Against the backdrop of social and political turmoil, Bill's core values help the family through their own challenges. Ivory and Merchant make an admirable leap into the 20th century. Unfortunately, the film's episodic jumps are too confusing to make it a complete success. Based on the 1990 book by Kaylie Jones, daughter of novelist James Jones.