Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Paris-Manhattan

Manhattan doesn't translate well in this off-key rom-com.

April 8, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1375588-Paris_Manhattan_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Pretty, occasionally witty and not believable for a moment, Sophie Lellouche's Paris-Manhattan is suffused with fannish love for Woody Allen's films but hardly lives up to their legacy. A couple of nice moments, including a likeable cameo from Allen himself, don't add up to much potential in Stateside art houses, particularly given the relative obscurity of the pic's actors on these shores.

Alice Taglioni plays Alice, a pharmacist who fell for Allen's work at 15 and made it such a part of her life that she now has imagined conversations with his portrait in her bedroom, hearing him deliver lines from his films in response to questions about love and ethics. The film would have us believe that Alice, partly due to avoiding feminine clothes, can't attract a boyfriend—a tall order given that Taglioni's a knockout, and the character's brand of tomboy attire flatters her, even if it won't launch any Annie Hall-like trends.

Similarly, the film's dialogue makes much ado about how nutty Alice's family is—complete strangers tease her about it—but never shows them doing anything remotely odd, unless a father trying to talk up his daughter's business at a cocktail party counts. (Some misbehavior emerges late in the film, but it's secret stuff that couldn't have contributed to the family-dysfunction rep.) One of the men Dad buttonholes, though, offers the film's closest thing to weirdness: Victor (Patrick Bruel) designs and installs alarm systems that, say, deliver high-voltage shocks to someone touching a valuable painting or knock out intruders with chloroform gas.

Alice and Victor strike up a quasi-flirtatious banter that loses a good deal in translation, and Lellouche hasn't learned much from her hero in terms of pacing and seduction. Scenes and subplots butt up against each other haphazardly, with no breathing room in between, and elicit fewer laughs than even the least entertaining of Allen's recent films. Many viewers will find themselves responding most warmly, in fact, to a clip in which Victor watches Gene Wilder make pillow talk with a sheep in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: Paris-Manhattan

Manhattan doesn't translate well in this off-key rom-com.

April 8, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1375588-Paris_Manhattan_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Pretty, occasionally witty and not believable for a moment, Sophie Lellouche's Paris-Manhattan is suffused with fannish love for Woody Allen's films but hardly lives up to their legacy. A couple of nice moments, including a likeable cameo from Allen himself, don't add up to much potential in Stateside art houses, particularly given the relative obscurity of the pic's actors on these shores.

Alice Taglioni plays Alice, a pharmacist who fell for Allen's work at 15 and made it such a part of her life that she now has imagined conversations with his portrait in her bedroom, hearing him deliver lines from his films in response to questions about love and ethics. The film would have us believe that Alice, partly due to avoiding feminine clothes, can't attract a boyfriend—a tall order given that Taglioni's a knockout, and the character's brand of tomboy attire flatters her, even if it won't launch any Annie Hall-like trends.

Similarly, the film's dialogue makes much ado about how nutty Alice's family is—complete strangers tease her about it—but never shows them doing anything remotely odd, unless a father trying to talk up his daughter's business at a cocktail party counts. (Some misbehavior emerges late in the film, but it's secret stuff that couldn't have contributed to the family-dysfunction rep.) One of the men Dad buttonholes, though, offers the film's closest thing to weirdness: Victor (Patrick Bruel) designs and installs alarm systems that, say, deliver high-voltage shocks to someone touching a valuable painting or knock out intruders with chloroform gas.

Alice and Victor strike up a quasi-flirtatious banter that loses a good deal in translation, and Lellouche hasn't learned much from her hero in terms of pacing and seduction. Scenes and subplots butt up against each other haphazardly, with no breathing room in between, and elicit fewer laughs than even the least entertaining of Allen's recent films. Many viewers will find themselves responding most warmly, in fact, to a clip in which Victor watches Gene Wilder make pillow talk with a sheep in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Tasting Menu
Film Review: Tasting Menu

Deliberately insubstantial, sometimes savory, sometimes tasteless and ultimately dissatisfying, Tasting Menu is the filmic equivalent of its title. More »

Half the Road
Film Review: Half the Road

Call to action for women’s cycling deserves a better instrument. More »

Proxy
Film Review: Proxy

A slow-boil thriller whose second- and third-act plot twists lead up to a genuinely shocking revelation, Proxy is a niche-market picture whose natural venue is home-viewing formats. More »

That Demon Within
Film Review: That Demon Within

Cop chasing the Demon King gang loses his grip on reality in a vivid mix of thriller and supernatural genres from Hong Kong director Dante Lam. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Transcendence
Film Review: Transcendence

Johnny Depp is an idealistic researcher whose consciousness is uploaded into an artificial intelligence in this slick techno-thriller with delusions of seriousness from Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer. More »

Draft Day
Film Review: Draft Day

Pro football manager faces crises on the most important day of his career in a well-tooled vehicle for Kevin Costner. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here