By Liz Lopez
“Paris Can Wait” was a spotlight in the Narrative Feature Screening Category of this year’s SXSW Film Festival where Director Eleanor Coppola attended the U. S. premiere of her narrative directorial and screenwriting debut. The best way to describe the film is a romance, with light doses of comedy and drama, and plenty of scenes during a road trip that seem to be a huge promotion of the sights, sounds and museums from Cannes to Paris. The reason this film is so appealing is the lovely and talented Diane Lane in the lead role as Anne, a woman of a certain age who is married to Michael (Alec Baldwin). While Baldwin has a few scenes as a workaholic film producer, the focus in on Anne, where she is in her life and how she handles the expedition she finds herself on with Michael’s French friend and colleague, Jacques (Arnaud Viard). I cannot say I am familiar with his past performances, but as a gentleman ready to impress a lady, he is excellent in his charismatic performance. This film has a very laid back pace and if anyone expects any action (cars, loud booms or otherwise), it is not found in this film.
I definitely recommend this film for people who love food and watch people eating French cuisine. I did not find the frequent meals to be appealing, as it appears as if certain restaurants are being promoted in order to keep the story moving. There is plenty of detail from the eggs to the chocolate and Jacques seems to have to eat and taste everything in sight. Some viewers may find themselves ready to take a road trip too after viewing so much food and wine, whether it be a Texas winery or abroad.
Having photographed for many years before, I admire that Lane’s character takes photos everywhere she goes, admiring and documenting what may seem trivial to others. I enjoy the part of the script where Jacques is attentive enough to notice her talent, whereas Anne’s husband is so preoccupied he does not see that she is holding a camera. He not only notices, her encourages pursuing this talent.
Eleanor Coppola has written a great story, and no doubt will be able to draw a specific audience to the theater for this and future feature films. “Paris Can Wait” is a relaxing change of pace and Diane Lane fans will not be disappointed.
Source: Sony Pictures Classics