Paris Can Wait (2017)

  • Time: 92 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Director: Eleanor Coppola
  • Cast: Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin, Arnaud Viard


Anne is at a crossroads in her life. Long married to a successful, driven but inattentive movie producer, she unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband. What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a carefree two-day adventure replete with diversions involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom and romance, reawakening Anne’s senses and giving her a new lust for life.

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  • A lovely little gem of a film, Paris Can Wait marks the directorial feature film debut of eighty-year-old Eleanor Coppola, the wife and matriarch of the Coppola film dynasty. Coppola, who chronicled her husband’s travails during the filming of Apocalypse Now in the excellent documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Journey, is an obviously talented figure in her own right and Paris Can Wait is a delectable delight that makes one wonder over the potential of future offerings.

    A highly fictionalised telling of an incident from her own life, Paris Can Wait stars the ever-radiant Diane Lane as Anne, first seen gazing out of a Cannes hotel balcony as her producer husband Michael (Alec Baldwin) is wheeling and dealing on the phone. Scheduled to accompany her husband to Budapest so he can supervise his latest production before they fly to Paris for a proper holiday together, she decides to forgo Budapest altogether due to an ear infection and instead take the train to Paris. Her husband’s business associate Jacques (Arnaud Viard) offers to drive her down in his hinky-looking Peugeot convertible, an offer she initially hesitates over before his cajoling convinces her.

    What should have been an hours-long trip turns into a mini-holiday as the inveterate Frenchman takes her on detours where they take in the lovely scenery, indulge in mouthwatering food and wine, and get to know each other a little better to the point where his flirtatiousness may not be as harmless as it appears. Through it all, Lane is luminous, her mature beauty as celebrated by Coppola and cinematographer Crystel Fournier as the extremely picture-perfect locations.

    In many respects, one can view Paris Can Wait as a mirror image of Lost in Translation, which was written and directed by Coppola’s daughter, Sofia. In both films, the women are married to more famous husbands, who leave them to wander in a foreign city. Both encounter strangers with whom they form something romantic, yet not quite. A melancholic undercurrent runs through both films, though one could argue that Lost in Translation possesses a greater depth of feeling than Paris Can Wait which, whilst dealing with more adult characters, is more light-hearted. Which is not to say it’s wholly inconsequential. This is a film that is suffused with warmth and feeling, and it’s always a pleasure to have a film nowadays that focuses on a woman “of a certain age” whose curiosity and joie de vivre have not abated with time.

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