Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country is a short and semisweet romantic vignette based on a story by Guy de Maupassant. A group of family members spend a day away from the city in the French countryside. While the men go off to fish, the mother (Jeanne Marken) has a harmless flirtation with a rural "rake," while the daughter (Sylvia Bataille) has a more serious liaison with a handsome young man (George Saint-Saens). Fourteen years later, the same family vacations at the same spot. The handsome stranger returns, hoping to renew his affair with the daughter; unfortunately, the girl is now married to a dull, insensitive jerk. The two former lovers ponder what might have been, then the family heads back to the city. A Day in the Country currently exists only in a 40-minute version; Renoir had planned to film scenes depicting what happened in the years between the two holidays, but he closed down production due to an acute "creative block." For its American distribution, Day in the Country was bundled together with two other short European films -- Joifroi and the controversial The Miracle -- as the portmanteau film The Ways of Love.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide