Paris Can Wait

With her last feature directorial credit being 1991’s Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, Eleanor Coppola is perhaps better known as Francis Ford Coppola’s wife than as a filmmaker. Yet she triumphantly returns this year with one of the sexiest and most joyful road movies in some time.

Poster for the road romance Paris Can WaitThis spiked bonbon of a film has Diane Lane playing Anne, a woman that is slowly starting to get frustrated with the non-stop travelling of her Hollywood producer husband (Alec Baldwin). She is left alone once again during the Cannes Film Festival and needs to get to Paris by nighttime. 

This leads to her being playfully lured to go on a two-day road trip from Cannes to Paris with Baldwin’s business partner Jacques (Arnaud Viard), a Frenchman who lives life to the fullest. Their destination is Paris, but he keeps on delaying the trip, avoiding the autoroute and stopping every time he gets the chance. Whether it’s a fancy restaurant, a historic museum, a beautiful church, a delectable winery or having picnic in a magnificent countryside, Jacques is insistent on showing Anne just how marvelous his homeland truly is.

The flirtatious nature of their friendship turns Anne both on and off. Jacques seems to be very upfront about his affection for her, but never steps out of bounds and still leaves enough intrigue for Anne to contemplate the possibilities. Anne, he declares, is his crème brûlée, but will she ultimately surrender to his charms? There are subtle indications that she might be game. Of course, Jacques sees that as well. This translates into seductive chemistry, which would not have existed without Lane, who has a loose, free-wheeling connection that’s a joy to behold.

The food in the film is also a genuine highlight, recalling the delectably sumptuous images of cuisine in Stanley Tucci’s Big Night. A tough watch if seen on empty stomach, the care and love with which Coppola renders the food scenes will have one booking a direct flight to the south of France for the mouth-watering delicacies on display.

– Jordan Riumy,

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