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“Pure delight”
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#3 of 10 from Favorite French films, or films in French, or films in France by
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Paris, Je T'Aime (Paris, I Love You) (2007)
Paris, je t'aime
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Even with the impressive talent involved,Paris, je t'aime could've ended up like a fallen soufflé. Though all 18 films aren't equally successful, they hit the mark more often than not. Romantics anticipating happy love stories set amongst the City of Lights may be disappointed to find that many are quite sad and that some parts of Paris are less inviting than others (each takes place in a different district). Further, the shorts aren't all en Français, since the actors and directors hail from around the world, but their outsider perspectives lend the project depth. The strongest entries are provided by Gurinder Chadha (Quais De Seine), Gus Van Sant (Le Marais), Oliver Schmitz (Place des Fêtes), and Alexander Payne (14ème Arrondissement), but all find interesting ways to explore cultural misunderstandings. In Joel and Ethan Coen's tragic-comic Tuileries, tourist Steve Buscemi angers a couple simply by making eye contact. Like Miranda Richardson in Isabelle Coixet's heartbreaking Bastille, he does all his acting with his expressive face. And while Maggie Gyllenhaal speaks the language adroitly in Olivier Assayas's intriguing Quartier des Enfants Rouges, Nick Nolte (purposefully) mangles it in Alfonso Cuarón's surprisingly weak Parc Monceau. The anthology ends with Payne's audio-postcard, in which Margo Martindale's postal carrier narrates her vacation in awkward, but endearing French. Instead of another ...
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