Imagine Into the Wild as a date movie, and you'll start to get an idea of what Looking for Cheyenne is about. A French import from director Valerie Minetto, this charming comedy centers on two women whose lives and personalities are as different as they could possibly be, but that hasn't stopped them falling in love with each other. Sonia (Aurelia Petit) is as much of a straight-arrow as possible, teaching high-school science to a bunch of disinterested kids and living in a modest apartment. Cheyenne (Mila Dekker) is a journalist whose world has recently collapsed. She has been completely unable to find work and has lost everything -- her apartment, her ability to sustain herself, the whole nine. In a fit of pique and rage, she has turned her misfortune into a lifestyle choice and abandoned society, determining to live off the land and get completely back to nature. It's that decision, and how it affects Sonia and her chances to find some measure of love and happiness, that provides the engine for Looking for Cheyenne.
The film seems to understand from the outset that the best possible outcome for Sonia and Cheyenne would be a short-term patch-up -- how could two people so different ever make it work in the long run? With that in mind, several possible replacements are lined up for Sonia, including an older, more hardened lesbian pick-up artist played by Guilaine Londez and even a male, Pierre (Malik Zidi) who explains that he doesn't mind that Sonia is a lesbian -- he'd still like to take her out. (Who knew that line could work?) Sonia is open to the possibility of moving on in theory, but as the film's title suggests, there's something about Cheyenne that strikes her as irreplaceable and she can't seem to get on with her life. Most importantly, there's a guilt factor involved. In one of the film's best scenes, Sonia candidly admits that she saw Cheyenne's problems building and did nothing to help her crawl out of the hole she was falling into. "My love is useless," she exclaims with real sadness.