France seems to be calling me back. This time it is the South of France trying to rekindle our love affair in the beautiful road trip film ‘Paris Can Wait’. This lovely film stars the ageless Diane Lane, handsome Alec Baldwin and charming Frenchman Arnaud Viard in a romantic romp full of breathtaking scenery, historical landmarks and copious amounts of food and wine. Delicious meals accompanied by the best French wines are a highlight of the film which made the audience at our screening groan with delight. You may come away feeling a few kilos heavier just watching the feasts on the screen.
The film was directed by an 80 year old Eleanor Coppola and is based on a true story from her own life. When Anne (Diane Lane) falls ill after the Cannes Film Festival she decides not to follow her movie bigwig husband Michael (Alec Baldwin) to Budapest but make her own way to Paris. Her husband’s friend -quintessential Frenchman Jacques (Arnaud Viard) speedily offers to drive her in his wheezy Peugeot. And so begins a two day road trip filled with food, wine, art and the majestic beauty of the French countryside. Jacques stops every hour for a cigarette and meanders along to the best restaurants and hotels, all the while revelling in his role as tour guide. There are lavender fields, Roman ruins, the most beautiful restaurants and museums plus plenty of flirting along the way. Imagine your dream holiday and this is it.
For me the best thing about the film was the beautiful Diane Lane. She reminds you of the beautiful films she has starred in like ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ and her teenage role in ‘A Little Romance’. Her performance here is understated, moving from obedient wife to wary passenger to interested companion and finally, perhaps, a love interest. The character of Anne blossoms with the admiration and attention she receives from the charming Jacques.
Although earning top billing, Alec Baldwin’s role was quite small and throughout the movie confined to phone calls.
The Frenchman, Jacques, was charm personified, although the film portrayed him at times as a wastrel and womaniser. You were never quite sure if he was really the nice guy he seemed to be.
He had the best line of the film trying to woo Anne by saying, “Other girls are like pop tarts. You are like a chocolate crème brûlée.”
‘Paris Can Wait’ is no action film but is filled with beauty and warmth. For my husband and I it brought back wonderful memories of our own road trips exploring this delightful part of France. Just don’t go along if you’re hungry or you’ll be dashing to the nearest bistro after the film.’Paris Can Wait’ is in cinemas from July 20.