Defined largely by what it doesn't do, Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau's breezy, delightful road movie The Adventures Of Felix sets up a potentially combustible situation and then quietly defuses it without diminishing its meaning or resonance. In many ways a gentle response to The Living End, Gregg Araki's raw and nihilistic black comedy about the reckless journey of HIV-positive men, the film puts its HIV-positive hero on the road with a similar urgency, but a vastly different temperament. From the opening shot of the title character, a carefree young French-Arab played winningly by Sami Bouajila, cycling across a picturesque Normandy bridge to a sunny piece by jazz chanteuse Blossom Dearie, Ducastel and Martineau set the tone for a diverting trifle with a modest sense of proportion. A recently unemployed dock-worker on a regular diet of protease inhibitors, Bouajila has reason to despair, but with the blessing of boyfriend Pierre-Loup Rajot, he takes the opportunity to hitchhike across the French countryside. With nothing but a knapsack and a kite in hand, Bouajila travels from Northern France to Marseille with the ostensible purpose of finding his long-absent father, but the journey counts for more than the destination. Divided into chapters with labels such as "My Little Brother," "My Grandmother," and "My Cousin," his encounters are like minor-key vignettes in which he accumulates surrogate members of a family he never had. In one, he befriends a 17-year-old (Charly Sergue) and introduces him to joyrides and the club scene, all the while rebuffing his advances; in another, he develops a rapport with a charmingly maternal older woman (played by '50s-era music-hall singer Patachou) that ends just as easily as it began. The only moment approaching actual incident is when Bouajila witnesses a racist attack, but stops himself from going to the police for fear that his skin color will provoke more violence. If The Adventures Of Felix sounds inconsequential, it's strictly by design. Beneath the film's joyful spirit and rapturous Cinemascope landscapes, Ducastel and Martineau hide a surprisingly profound and bittersweet take on its hero coming to terms with his own identity. For all the self-help clichés at its core, equivalent in meaning to "Live one day at a time" or "Stop and smell the roses," the film never seems banal or falsely sentimental. With its generous feelings toward humanity and nature, The Adventures Of Felix takes its lightness seriously and puts its Issues in lower-case perspective.