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Paris Can Wait

A low-key drive through the French countryside has its rewards

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After her movie-producer husband (Alec Baldwin) leaves for Budapest, Anne (Diane Lane) opts to take a car journey from Cannes to Paris in the company of his business associate, Jacques (Arnaud Viard). A relatively short drive turns into a leisurely two-day sojourn as Jacques — a committed sensualist — insists on stopping at top-rated bistros, Roman ruins and rose gardens, and throwing impromptu picnics. (Many bottles of fine wine are enjoyed.) The journey — and the film — gets off on an awkward foot; the set-up seems forced. But by the midway point, the film, like Jacques and Anne, has settled into a comfortable groove, and the time spent in this company grows more enjoyable. There is much food porn, a light Euro-jazz score, plenty of sunny scenery and, in time, a couple of potentially life-changing (albeit low-key) realizations. The film is the debut feature of writer-director Eleanor Coppola, the 80-year-old wife of Francis Ford Coppola, who likely knows a thing or two about being the wife of a movie man, good wine and the nice parts of France. It’s not breaking any new ground, and the characterization are thin and border on stereotypical, but hey, it’s a nice drive if you can afford it.


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