A star-crossed story of two youths from rival language groups who fall hopelessly in love against a background of turbulent national tensions. It is the winter of 1967. Students from the French-language Université de Montréal are rioting on the campus of solidly English McGill. The two institutions are slugging it out at hockey games. The mutual antagonism has reached fever pitch when Matthew, a young American, arrives in Montreal to study at McGill and play hockey. He first sees Gabrielle, a lovely French-speaking art student, at a game between the two universities that turns into a brawl. For her, it’s dislike at first sight. Soon after, the grey-stone McGill campus is the site of a demonstration by the French-language students.
During the melée, Matthew recognizes Gabrielle and helps her to get away. Her dislike turns to love, which is strengthened when Matthew puts himself in danger to save her brother from the police. Gabrielle becomes pregnant, but hides it from her lover, who has his own problems. Matthew has been bounced out of McGill, thus ending his draft deferment and making him eligible for service in Vietnam. Matthew must make a decision: does he stay with Gabrielle and become a draft dodger or does he elect to return to the U.S. and serve his country honourably? The decision he reaches is the climax of this tender love story.