I think like in every culture, it depends on where you are at the time. Big city, the boulangerie during rush hour, a big tourist site? Or while meandering through a small viliage, asking questions about their beautiful town, commenting on how attractive their window display of chocolates for Easter? I find that when I am friendly, respectful, and engage them, most French fall all over themselves to be friendly. if they don't, I may have encountered them on a bad day or they are just not happy people. I don't often get strangers smiling at me while I walk down my city street (ewww, what do they want from me ...) or when at the grocery store check out line. And that's in my little American city.