REVIEW: Paris Can Wait

26 05 2017

Eleanor Coppola’s “Paris Can Wait” amounts to little more than a middle-aged French retread of “Leap Year” – rack your brains and see if you can remember that 2010 Amy Adams romance. The setup is simple: a charming American woman needs a ride to meet up with her romantic partner, so she must enlist the help of a native of a charming European man to whisk her across the rural backroads of his native country. Along the way, however, she begins to doubt her allegiances as the extended car trip softens her stance towards the courier.

“Paris Can Wait” offers many gorgeous views of scenic French vistas, but if that’s what Coppola wanted to shoot, then perhaps her energies are better spent filming a promotional spot for the country’s tourism bureau. With all due respect, I’ve seen half-hour TV specials with more meat on their bones than this film. The only bit of content worth serious deliberation is when Anne (Diane Lane) and Jacques (Arnaud Viard) discuss what separates the Americans from the French.

Otherwise, “Paris Can Wait” is a lavish nothingburger of a travelogue that is every bit as self-indulgent as an Adam Sandler comedy set in Hawaii or Africa. The cast and crew get to enjoy the majesty of France’s countryside – the culture, the food, the sheer joy of getting caught up in a moment of inexpressible beauty. We’re left to experience it from afar through the eyes of Anne and her digital camera, which she uses to take Instagram-style foodie pictures that she is too sheepish to share. I couldn’t even get a vicarious thrill from observing. C



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