Opening July 13, 2017
Directed by: Eleanor Coppola
Writing credits: Eleanor Coppola
Principal actors: Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard, Alec Baldwin
Not feeling well, Anne (Lane) parts ways with Michael (Baldwin) in Cannes and they decide to meet in Paris. He continues to Budapest, and conveniently, Michael’s business partner (Viviard) has to go to Paris, so offers Anne a ride – more comfortable than a train he insists. However, the Frenchman’s passion for food—everything is in season—good local wines, and regional landmarks require their attention along the way. This necessitates many detours, as well as countless breaks to accommodate Jacque’s habit. “Are we ever going to get to Paris?” En route, Anne and Jacque talk about their lives, themselves.
France is renowned for its cuisine, which this film attests to besides taking a dig at Americans’ outlook regarding food appreciation. For the French, fresh food is important. Simply prepared fare to accentuate its natural taste, and enhanced by a flavorsome wine. (Wild dandelion salad is delicious, and the enormous cheeses selection is accurately depicted.)
Anyone who remembers writer-director Eleanor Coppola’s Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991) documentary about husband Francis Ford’s filming Apocalypse Now (1979) know her abilities as a filmmaker. So, “where’s the beef” in this film? Production values are solid. Baldwin in seen briefly, Lane is perfunctory and Viviard commendable, but the stars are the food, and countryside. If you like cute, harmless road trip movies and looking at food, you will especially enjoy Paris Can Wait. 92 minutes (Marinell H.)