Grown-Up Fluff: Our Review of ‘Paris Can Wait’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - May 26, 2017
Grown-Up Fluff: Our Review of ‘Paris Can Wait’

Well there are vanity projects…and then there are VANITY projects…

Paris Can Wait takes this to the extreme as director Eleanor Coppola in her very first fictional feature gives us the equivalent of food porn and fantasy that while not all the while unpleasant just feels like a waste for the talent involved.

Anne (Diane Lane) is at a crossroads in her life. Long married to a successfully driven but inattentive movie producer (Alec Baldwin), she finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband (Arnaud Viard). What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a journey of discovery involving fine food and wine, humor, wisdom, and picturesque sights.

While this trip up the French countryside is certainly one that is pleasing on the eyes, Paris Can Wait is middle aged romance meshed together with culture and a good helping of food porn.  There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s something that you’ll forget about minutes after having left the theatre.

Being married to Francis Ford Coppola certainly does allow for a certain degree of pedigree in a project that is rife with nepotism, but to her credit Eleanor does quite a bit right here as director.  The picture is well shot and she moves the narrative along quite well making sure never to really get hung up anywhere serious along the way.  It also balances a light yet also serious tone as these characters not only enjoy each other’s company but explore the emotional nuances of the situation that they find themselves in.  However, while you can easily buy the story, the actual script is a little weak at times and it’s not hard to follow the thread that she is setting up for us.  Hardly a bad thing by any stretch but this film has a predictable market and audience that gets telegraphed from a mile away.

The consistently underrated Diane Lane is fine enough as Anne as she gets to mine some of the material that she explored in Under The Tuscan Sun back in 2003 but she feels a little wasted here as the devoted yet neglected wife to Alec Baldwin.  It seems a shame that even in a movie directed by an old friend (Lane first worked with Francis Ford Coppola back in 1983 with both The Outsiders & Rumble Fish) she gets reduced to a generic female role when she has proven capable of so much better.  Alec Baldwin is barely there and Arnaud Viard plays the role of the charming yet eccentric Frenchman pretty well.  This movie has a formula and for better or for worse it sticks to it as do the performances in it.

Paris Can Wait is a competent affair, but it’s basically upper middle class middle aged fluff.  It’s pleasant in the moment, but when reality comes crashing back down to earth at the end of the film you’ll barely remember a single frame of the entire affair.

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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.