Paris Can Wait(2016)
Diane Lane and Arnaud Viard head up this breezy road rom-com set in France and directed by the 80-year-old matriarch of the Coppola family, Eleanor Coppola.... More
"In her early fifties, Anne (Lane) has arrived at a turning point. Her daughter has left home to attend university, and her nest now feels doubly empty because her workaholic husband (Alec Baldwin), a successful film producer, is chronically absent. When he is called away on location, Anne is offered transport from Cannes to Paris with her husband's friend and business associate (Viard), a seductive bon vivant who unabashedly sets sights on his comely passenger. The trip could be done in a matter of hours, but it stretches into a leisurely two-day journey brimming with diversions such as beautiful churches, fine food, delectable wine — and expert wooing. While the rakish connoisseur regards the many young women he might easily bed as mere soufflé, Anne, he declares, is crème brûlée. But will Anne ultimately surrender to his charms?" (Toronto International Film Festival)Hide
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BY Adam Fresco Flicks Writer
Eleanor Coppola (the 80-year-old mother of Sofia and wife of Francis), is best known for her cracking documentary Hearts of Darkness, charting the behind the scenes madness of Apocalypse Now. Whilst that doc rocked, this rom-com road-trip is a pretty tiresome trek, unless you’re with the French tourist board, in which case you’ll love this advert for holidaying in the land of wine and cheese.... More
Alec Baldwin plays a movie producer whose wife (Diane Lane) can’t fly, so has to car share from Cannes to Paris with one her husband’s business buddies (Arnaud Viard). Cue dollops of postcard-worthy scenery, mouth-watering meals and bottles of plonk.
Love Diane Lane? Then you’ll likely delight in the very Diane Lane-ness of a performance that holds no surprises, but doesn’t disappoint. Baldwin’s appearances are brief but ever so Alec Baldwin-y. Viard plays a suave, charming French dude, educating Lane’s ignorant American to the sensual delights of all things French.
If you like your comedy light, your actors reliably playing to type, your script safe, your story upbeat, and your landscapes lush, then here’s a tale so old, archaeologists should carbon date the script. Every cliché about French culture, cuisine and romance is here, wrapped up in a garland of garlic, and wearing a beret perched at a jaunty angle.
Predictable, safe, slow, and inoffensive, it’s a fun rehash of the popular but excruciating Marigold Hotel variety. Nicely played by the two leads, with France looking très bon, if romantic whimsy’s your thing, you’ll have fun. If not? Well, Paris really can wait.Hide
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Paris Can Wait
BY cinemusefilm superstar
A story of an unhurried drive through France is full of promise. Neglected wife Anne (Diane Lane) and movie mogul husband Michael (Alec Baldwin) have been... More in Cannes and about to board a flight to Paris for a long-awaited holiday. At the last minute, she is advised not to fly because of an ear infection and agrees instead to be driven to Paris by her husband’s French business associate Jacques (Arnaud Viard). What was expected to be a few hours drive becomes a two-day road trip, meandering into places Anne would never have seen without Jacques’ knowledge of local attractions. Jacques is a gourmand who knows every good restaurant along the way and Anne allows him to show off his taste for fine food, French wines and other hidden cultural treasures. The trip is punctuated by long and luxurious meals, and frequent commentary on local history, architecture and customs. Despite Jacques’ flirtations, they stay in separate rooms while Anne dutifully stays in touch by phone with her by-now anxious husband and daughter. By the time they arrive in Paris, Michael is showing his wife more attention than he has for years.
For this story to work, it needs rising romantic tension, some surprising revelations or narrative twists, or at least a sense of excitement about possibilities lying in wait. Instead it is two days of small talk punctuated by Anne’s photo-taking: even when each reveals an emotional event in their lives it quickly dissolves into banal conversation without impact on their relationship or how we see them. The idea that Jacques’ flirtations might succeed with Anne is deflated by his encounters with girlfriends along the way. Even the gastronomic feasts fall flat as visual treats: one plate of something delicious quickly loses its appeal when the plates just keep coming. The photographic delights of countryside France are captured inelegantly through car windows or in other uninspiring ways, and Jacques’ informative tour-guide commentary has the tonal enthusiasm of someone reading from a travel brochure. The mediocre script is made worse by dialogue delivered as if Anne and Jacques were paced by a metronome, each taking turns to speak with the same pause between sentences. This lack of spontaneity carries throughout their journey except when Jacques’ car breaks down and he immediately springs into picnic mode, grabbing a basket of goodies, and spreading a blanket alongside a lake in a scene that is pure Monet. That’s what you do when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, isn’t it?
Given its quality ingredients this film should have worked. If the story represents a personal journey of self-awareness its revelations remain obscure. As it is based on the director’s real-life experience, perhaps reality got in the way of creative filmmaking. Whatever the reason, the delicious promise embedded in the wonderful title Paris Can Wait does not even come close to fulfilment.Hide