Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Paris Je T'aime

Paris Je T'aime (Paris, I love you) is a series of vignettes about love and Paris. They range from first romances, rekindled flames, bizarre loves, and of course, loneliness. These 18 shorts are each created by a different writer/director, with such greats as the Cohen Brothers, Alfonso Cuaron, Wes Craven, Sylvain Chomet, Gus Van Sant, Tom Tykwer, and many, many others. There were many powerful segments, and only a few that I could have done without.

The movie started out very well with two stories of chance meeting based on human kindness, by Bruno Podalydes and Gurinder Chadha respectively. The first segment is about a man trying to find a parking place, which leads to him helping a sick woman on the side of the road. The second one involves a student, going against his friends to help a young Muslim woman. Both of these were touching and brought a smile to my face. A strong opening to this movie.

Throughout the movie there were a few that seemed to drag a bit. Gus Van Sant's portion, despite a rather amusing conclusion just took to long to get there, and a short segment with a woman baby sitting for a woman while her own child is in day-care is poignant, but unnecessary. Another segment with Elijah Wood and a Vampire was just plain absurd. Surprisingly, I was a little disappointed with the segment directed by the Cohen Brothers, featuring Steve Buschemi as a hopeless tourist that stumbles into a lovers quarrel in a subway station.

There were some truly fantastic parts. My favorite one was directed by Sylvain Chomet (The Triplettes of Belleville), about a mime who finds his true love. Alfonso Cuaron was behind an interesting Richard Linklateresque walking and talking segment starring Nick Nolte. This was in his trademark single shot style. One of the most powerful segments involved a dying man coming into contact with a paramedic he had been admiring from afar, professing his love with his dying breaths.

Wes Craven contributed a surprising sweet portion about a soon to be married couple exploring a cemetery. Natalie Portman starred in a Tom Tykwer directed piece about her relationship with a blind man. Their entire relationship was presented quickly in the matter of a few minutes.

The movie ends on a bittersweet note with a lonely American tourist narrating her own vacation. The movie ends very poignantly with "the moment I fell in love with Paris, and the moment Paris fell in love with me."

For the most part this is a fantastically powerful collection of shorts, covering all walks of love. Some of the best segments dealt with love lost. It is the same conversational basis that made Coffee and Cigarettes so good. Despite some weak segments, the good ones more than make up for it.

Watch the Trailer



Shawn said...

A rating would have been nice

Harry said...

whoops, sorry