I like this kind of film. It is very easy to review.
A guy receives a letter. The letter supposedly comes from an ex-lover, unnamed. It says he has a son, from a previous relationship, twenty years ago.
Guy sets out to revisit the four girlfriends from that time period. His goal is to possibly chance upon the mother of his supposed son.
So we have a story about a guy who has four stories with four different girls. Floating above it all is a story about a possible offspring, who also has his own story: he (again, supposedly) is out on a road-trip looking for his father.
Take notice that the film is dedicated to Jean Eustache, a man who made movies about people telling stories. See Une sale affaire for an explicit indication, or La maman et la putain for a story about a storyteller with a neurotic compulsion to tell stories. This movie is also said to be inspired by a story Sara Driver told Jarmusch. They made it a point to let us know.
No resolution. Each thread goes off into a lingering ambiguity. So what is really interesting here is the abstract layers between us and our multi-storied hero. What we see on the screen is past brought to present using encounter of past-characters as form. What we don’t see is conclusions, resolutions, answers to anticipation: the future.
Also, we see him wake up after each encounter. All of these stories might be fabrications. Well so, as our character is established as a former buisnessman, now lonely, and rich enough to lack any incentive to work. A dreamer, a drifter, a Jarmusch trademark.
Our hero finds a letter at the end that supposedly clues him into thinking the original letter was a scam. It is supposed to be written by the lover in the first scene of the movie. The scene that is obviously a dream.
See this for laughs. I loved it.