I have heard people talk about how the French are rude. This was not my experience during the two weeks that we just spent in France. In spite of the fact that my language skills are nonexistent, I found French people to be very patient and helpful.
Only once during the whole trip did someone treat us rudely. While we were champagne testing outside Reims, we stopped at a cafe in Verzenay. When we finally got the waitress to come to the table, it was clear that she wanted nothing to do with us. She was not willing to spend any time helping us work through the process of ordering something to eat. Other than that one experience, people were hospitable and gracious both in the big cities like Paris and in very small out of the way places.