I am just back from my first trip to France. We visited Paris and Nice. Before going I read a lot about the French people being rude if you cannot speak their language or not giving directions or being snobby towards tourists. I also read a lot of articles advising how not to look like a tourist to avoid trouble. I planned a tour where I had my parents and grandmother with me, we are budget travelers and I had very little idea about society and culture of France. So I was really worried before reaching there.
Trust me, there was no reason to worry. The French are very friendly and very helpful. We looked exactly like tourists, we are Indians, my grandmother was wearing Sari and I had a DSLR hanging around my neck and a map in my hand all the time. The only two french words we had to used were Bonjour and Merci. Apart from that we spoke in English and people mostly understood. Quite a few of them could speak English, even if that's not very good. Those who couldn't, managed to communicate with french and hand gestures. I must say they speak in a highly animated way. Two persons gave us a long road directions in Nice with hand gestures because they didn't know English and it was bang on. We shopped in local shops and departmental stores in Paris. My mother met a salesgirl in Monoprix who didn't understand English, my mother doesn't know a word of French, but she managed to get everything she needed from her without a trouble. In a cafe in Paris I couldn't understand a vegetable that was on the menu card. When I asked the waiter he couldn't explain, so he took his phone out, searched in google and showed me a picture of it. Even people voluntarily spoke to us in buses and they were really nice.
So next time you go to France don't worry about people misbehaving. They are nice and they try their best to help.