Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Paris Can Wait
Thus begins a road trip movie depicting the car journey of said American wife to Paris. Key point being, she is driven by her husband’s French business partner, who happens to be a middle aged French bachelor. And yes, your first guess as to the ensuing sexual tension is correct, and yes, given the casting of Diane Lane as our hero, the whole thing feels a lot like a French Under the Tuscan Sun. Or does it?
The main thing you will notice with Paris Can Wait is the lack of a plot. I’m serious: the movie lets the journey’s sights, art and food do the talking. I’d call this one a comparative cultural tour: on one hand, the American culture the movie assumes we’re familiar with, as represented by a capitalist/consumerist family woman; on the other French culture, represented by a never-married never-had-kids middle aged man. The destination, Paris, alludes to the American fascination with a city that probably stands out as being the most blatant counter evidence to that classic American capitalism oriented state of mind.
Add the false reason for the whole affair to begin with (an ear ache that's miraculously cured using homeopathic ear drops), and you can argue the whole excuse for the journey and thus the movie is a fabrication. Fact of the matter is, this casual car trip is not very practical in real life. Most people would find it unaffordable, and a lot of their time would be spent messing around looking for parking and then getting to their destination by foot. I do wonder how much of the lifestyle demonstrated in the movie is actually accessible to the average French; I simply don't know the answer.
I was lucky enough to have done a very similar road trip. Mine was real, quite expensive, but at the same time, it made me love France, too.
I suspect Paris Can Wait will receive a lot of criticism for its narrative's shortcomings. I, on the other hand, quite appreciated the intention of producing a movie that isn't the same as everything else.
3.5 out of 5 crabs.