Wednesday, 17 June 2015

We'll Never Have Paris

Lowdown: A trials and tribulations of an ordinary guy trying to propose to his veteran girlfriend.
I’ve never heard the name Simon Helberg prior to watching We’ll Never Have Paris, but I’ve known the guy for close to a decade now. I know him as Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory; because if ever could one claim to know an actor through familiarity with a fictional character he’s played, it would be after eight long seasons. In We’ll Never Have Paris, Wolowitz – sorry, Helberg – is the sole starring role; he’s the director, alongside his wife; and as it happens, and as I have only learnt after watching the movie, proceedings are based on the real story of the couple’s engagement.
Helberg plays Quinn, a young New Yorker whose life has been pretty securely tied to his first and only girlfriend of eight years, Devon (Melanie Lynskey). As we can tell by the opening scene with his father the doctor (an under-utilised Alfred Molina), he’s a bit of a paranoid with zero confidence. He agrees with dad, though: it’s about time he proposed.
Quinn tries to propose, he really does. It just doesn’t work out. You know, circumstances can be a bitch.
The next day offers another setback. His colleague at the flower shop he's working at, Kelsey (Maggie Grace) claims to be in love with him. And she has noticeable advantages: she used to be a model. Is Quinn about to miss out of life by committing to the one girlfriend he seems to have always has?
The rest of the movie is built around that doubt and the issues it creates. Although short, at one and a half hours, affairs do feel elongated. And yes, eventually our heroes – all of them – do find themselves in Paris, the city of love, for an atypically non Parisian experience. Getting us viewers there proves to be a rather treacherous affair: We'll Never Have Paris starts off looking like a witty comedy with much potential, but by the end of the first act falls flat to the point of not really knowing where it wants to sail to next. Much like the hero at its centre, I guess, only that - as sad as it may sound - not everyone's life story stands out to a level that could make an interesting movie.
No offence, Helberg.
Overall: We'll Never Have Paris turned out to be a weird, often confused, romantic comedy. At 2.5 out of 5 crabs, I cannot really recommend it for anything useful although I will acknowledge seeing worse.

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