I love Paris, and I do want to go there. I just hope there isn’t so much love there, as it is in here.
Paris comes to life in this whimsical patchwork of 18 five-minute shorts united by a common theme — love in the City of Lights — and helmed by an international cast of filmmakers, including Gus Van Sant, Olivier Assayas and Alexander Payne. Natalie Portman plays an American actress who captures the heart of a blind student; Juliette Binoche is visited by a ghostly Willem Dafoe; Bob Hoskins solicits a prostitute’s advice on pleasing his wife.
The one thing about this film, is that there all just a bunch of short films, wrapped into a 2 hour film. There are so many stars, so many great directors here, that you would think it would be too hard to put them all into one film, when it could have been better, I still enjoyed it for the most part.
Some of the short stories are better than others, and not all of them are exactly about love. There are some very dark concerning with the deals about racism, drugs, homosexuality, death, and many more, and its not just one big love-fest.
The problem with this film is that some of these short stories just didn’t make any sense at all, and didn’t seem like they belonged. There was one with Elijah Wood, and this other chick as vampires, and it played out as a horror story, but made no sense as to why it was in the film, and what it had to do with the subject of love. There was one more, directed by Wes Craven, with Emily Mortimer and Rufus Sewell, that had to do with death or something like that, and it seemed just so stupid and took me right out of the film.
I have to give it to three directors who did the best with their showcases: Coen Bros., Alexander Payne, and Tom Tykwer. The Coen Bros. add in their own little flavor of whimsy, and it works with its hilarity. Alexander Payne strong fully closes out the film with a sad, but joyful, ode to Paris. However, the best here was indeed Tykwer’s who added in a great love story with Natalie Portman, but with a twist. The things he does with the camera in that short is just magnificent, and captured the whole essence that the film was going for.
Consensus: Some stories are better than others, and some had no intention of being there, but Paris, Je T’aime, works because there is enough wonderful whimsy, and love added to this spectacle.