Late at night, 23-year-old student Jeanne stands outside clutching her suitcase, sobbing. At her wits' end after a failed relationship, she is moving in with her dad. Only to discover that her father Gilles, a middle-aged philosophy lecturer, has a relationship with Ariane, one of his students, who is the same age as Jeanne. Suddenly Gilles has two youngsters around; he tries to be a father to one and a lover to the other.
This might sound like the makings of a romantic comedy, but French filmmaker Philippe Garrel takes things seriously. After Jealousy and In the Shadow of Women, the third in his trilogy of black-and-white films on the vagaries of love is Lover for a Day. Not only did Garrel mine his personal and professional life for the plot; his daughter Esther Garrel plays Jeanne and one of his theatre students has the role of Ariane.