Hapless Le Havre hotel clerk (Dominique Abel) is settling down for the night shift when his reverie is disturbed by a flame-haired, shoeless waif (Fiona Gordon) searching for a room. It turns out that she's a fairy - or possibly a mental patient - and she grants him three wishes... and then disappears. Smitten, his journey to find her takes in beach-dwelling immigrants, a dog-loving Brit and a myopic barman. The funny peculiar triumvirate of Abel, Gordon and Bruno Romy - reunite for a third Jacques Tati-influenced journey into the absurd.
The absurdist triumvirate have won a small but dedicated following for their deranged comedy romances that embrace off-kilter scenarios with a gusto more Benny Hill than Jacques Tati.
This is one of their more earthbound confections although it does feature a galumphing fairy (Gordon) who bestows three wishes on Abel's daydreaming night porter after stopping him choking on a tomato sauce bottle top.
Left with one wish unfulfilled, Abel goes in search of the flame-haired apparition who - it turns out - has been sectioned in a local mental hospital from which she triumphantly flees.
Even at a trim ninety minutes the unrelenting whimsy gets increasingly wearisome with the threesome progressing to resemble a rather smug Gallic version of The League of Gentleman's horrific touring theatre group Legz Akimbo.
There's a blind-as-a-bat barman (Romy) whose myopia is about as funny as shingles, a trio of illegal immigrants living in an abandoned car on the beach (Why? No idea) and a dog-loving English tourist speaking phrasebook French.
There's no doubt Abel, Gordon and Romy have refined a comedy style that is completely their own...but it can still come across as a rather self-satisfied private joke.
The strengths include the decision to shoot in Le Havre, a French port city that offers stunning industrial vistas and an irrepressible energy that can either inspire...or drain the will to watch.
In other words, a fairy that can't quite cast a spell.