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Pierre, a 30-year-old bachelor, lives with his parents and devotes all of his time to studying science and the astronomical charts. His strong-willed mother, vexed by Pierre's lack of interest in women, goads her husband into persuading him that it is time he took a wife. Pierre dutifully proposes to Ilka, the family's Swedish au pair girl, but she does not understand French and fails to comprehend his offer, so Pierre continues his search, learning what he can from experienced men-about-town. After several disastrous efforts to meet prospective brides, he encounters Laurence, a young woman who spends all of his money getting drunk on champagne. Several days later, she attempts to seduce him at her apartment, but he is distracted by the television performance of a sensuous singer, Stella. Suddenly hopelessly in love with the singer, he throws away all of his astronomical paraphernalia and covers the walls of his room with photographs of her. Bearing an engagement ring, he makes his way into her dressing room, but his matrimonial intentions are shattered when he discovers that Stella is a married woman with a son his own age. Completely disillusioned, he returns home as Ilka is leaving to return to Sweden. By now she has learned enough French to understand Pierre's proposal, and she accepts; ecstatically happy, he follows her to the railroad station.