Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Patrick Bruel, Alice Taglioni

Occasionally, I watch French movies. Mainly for me not to forget the language I grew up speaking. Yet that was over 30 years ago so my facility at speaking (worst of all writing it) is quite rusty.  Naturally I rely on subtitles to get me through because there is a huge difference in conversational French and the French they use as dialogue in films. I was able to confirm this from my American friend who not only lived in Paris but knows the art of cinema quite well.  

Most of the time, I prefer light fare comedy types of French movies. Not only is the dialogue easier for me to grasp (without looking at the English subtitles) but they tend to present things as they are.  By that, I mean the boy doesn't necessarily get the girl by the end of the film.  Conflicts and complications abound.  Although surely there are some French films where lead actor does end up with cutesy lead actress with the added *kilig* factor thrown in for good measure.

Alice (Alice Taglioni) is a Parisian pharmacist who is an avid fan of Woody Allen and his films.  She even talks to his giant poster in her room about anything and nothing in particular.  The strange thing is *he* does reply to her musings and he speaks to her in English.  Not only does she dispense medicines to her regular customers, she also hands them dvds of Woody Allen films to "heal" their malaise.  

Just as Alice finds Pierre, the man of her dreams, he falls in love with her much stylish sister Helene. Soon enough, they get married and Alice is back to 'zero'.  Her parents though worry about her ending up alone in life so they are always on the look out for eligible guys to date Alice.  But it is only when Alice meets Victor (Patrick Bruel) when things perk up a bit.  Victor is the security expert who installs security devices in establishments.  He is her complete opposite as he hasn't seen any of Woody Allen movies.

"Paris-Manhattan" is a French film with the right amount of romance and bits of comedy. The story line is a bit too simple and predictable even though the characters experience their arc in terms of changing for the better. It's a light and engaging fare with its own charm which mostly comes from the good chemistry between Alice and Victor.    Just what I needed on a rainy Tuesday evening. 

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