"Paris, Je T'aime"
Directed by a hell of a lot of people!
Written by...yeah, a hell of a lot of people!
Starring more actors than I can count!
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 6/4/07
A short film collection by some of the
world's best directors, "Paris, Je T'aime" is arthouse at its most
inspired--a wide array of one-act ditties that center around random
activities in Paris. The skits are not inter-related, so this
allows for us to concentrate for about five minutes on each piece,
and then we get a new story and new characters for the next
five-minute act. And, while some of the pieces don't really
register, there is much more good than bad amongst the 15-or-so
skits, enough to make a trip to the local arthouse theater worth
Some of the directors you've heard of--The
Coen Brothers, Alexander Payne ("Sideways",
Gurinder Chadha ("Bend
It Like Beckham"), Sylvain Chomet ("The
Triplets of Belleville"), Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuarón ("Children
Mama Tambien"), Tom Tykwer ("Run
Lola Run") and Gus Van Sant. Some you haven't--mainly,
other French directors who have made their mark with smaller but
well-received films. All this means is that the quality of the
production is high, and the wide variety of actors who were
attracted to this project make for quite an interesting mix of
faces. The bits range from romantic comedy to straight-laced
slapstick comedy, to a couple of dramatic pieces and one or two
completely off-the-wall skits, none weirder than the bit featuring
the traveling hair-care salesman and the exotic Asian woman who
loves him for reasons we never learn. In-between, there are
random pick-up shots of Paris by day, by night, and from almost
every angle imaginable. Some of the film is done in English,
some is done in French, some is done in Frenglish, none better than
Payne's hilarious-yet-touching piece on a woman (played by Margo
Martindale) who is reading a trip journal to an unseen adult French
class on her first trip alone to a foreign city.
It's hard to describe "Paris, Je T'aime"
outside of just telling you that it's a varied collection of shorts,
but I must say that it's a lively collection, and it's one that
anyone who has been to or aims to visit France should check out.
Doesn't set the world on fire but it's a fine, modest collection of
films that you'll enjoy with just about anyone.
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard