Saturday, August 19, 2017     Volume: 31, Issue: 46
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Weekly Poll
Do you think the Carrizo Plain should stay a national monument?

Absolutely. The Carrizo is one of the last undeveloped areas of the San Joaquin Valley, a protected habitat for endangered species, and a natural wonder for the public.
Yes, but I don't think it's as clear cut as some think. The Trump Administration should take a look at its status.
The feds should consider reducing the size of the monument.
No. The Carrizo should be privatized. Allow the market to tap into its natural resources.

Vote! | Poll Results

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New Times / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PASSION
ALIEN: COVENANT
BAYWATCH
CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
IT COMES AT NIGHT
MEGAN LEAVEY
MY COUSIN RACHEL
PARIS CAN WAIT
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
THE CIRCLE
THE LOVERS
THE MUMMY

PARIS CAN WAIT

PHOTO BY SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

PARIS CAN WAIT


Where is it playing?: The Palm

What's it rated?: PG

What's it worth?: $ Streaming

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Eleanor Coppola directs her first feature film Paris Can Wait, a romantic comedy about Anne (Diane Lane), the wife of a successful movie producer (Alec Baldwin). The movie follows her spur-of-the-moment road trip from Cannes to Paris with her husband’s business associate Jacques (Arnaud Viard). What would normally be just a seven-hour drive turns into a multiple day endeavor with Jacques, Anne’s chaperone through a tantalizing tour of Provence. While Anne pushes to reach their destination of Paris in a timely manner, her French counterpart takes his time showing her how to enjoy life the “French” way.

If you’re looking for a riveting tale of forbidden love set against a backdrop of some of France’s most iconic cities, this is not that movie. Visually, it is delightful—albeit irritating—to only look and not partake in the glistening plates of artisanal food. However, Jacques proves to be a less than preferable tour guide, and ends up spending the 92 minutes of the film annoyingly “mansplaining” France and its cultural intricacies to Anne.

The film opens to a balcony scene with Anne leaned against the railing of the balcony. She snaps close-up detailed photographs of a handsome breakfast spread while the stern voice of her husband talking on the phone punctuates the air. The next morning as Anne and her husband, Michael (Baldwin), prepare to fly to Budapest for a business trip, Anne instead decides to hop in a car with Jacques, where they will later meet up with Michael in Paris.

The close quarters and long hours of driving in the car juxtapose American and French cultures side by side—while Anne is ready to hunker down for the car ride, Jacques takes frequent pit stops to smoke, fill up the radiator, and indulge in delicious multi-course meals.

While the references to iconic staples of French culture—Chateauneuf-du-Pape, saucisson, and blooming purple fields of lavender—make this film a visual treat for Francophiles, the dialogue of the movie felt forced and unnatural. It was difficult to take the movie seriously as the scenes jumped from gorgeous shots of the Provencal countryside to the awkward interactions between an unhappily married woman and a sleazy French businessman.

In one scene, Jacques abandons Anne at a gas station while he drives away to get enough French roses to fill the backseat of the old blue Peugeot they’re riding in. He justifies his actions, explaining that he couldn’t not get roses while in the French countryside, as if that was a perfectly reasonable excuse to abandon her at a gas station in a foreign country.

Although the film is shot in English, there are snippets of dialogue through the movie that are versed entirely in French without any translation or subtitles. For the non-French speaker, Coppola’s attempt at making the movie more authentic comes off as pretentious and annoying. On the last leg of the trip, Anne looks pensively outside the window while playing music from Phoenix, a French rock band that her daughter suggested. At this point in the film, it seems like Coppola is trying to fill in as many squares on her bingo card of French culture references, bloating the film and making less than elegant and somewhat snobbish. And the plot line with Anne and Jacques is all too predictable.

Overall, Paris Can Wait’s attempt at crafting a romantic comedy set in the dreamy French countryside flops rather disappointingly. The visual treats and beautiful views of France were the only redeeming qualities of the movie, if you ignored precisely everything else. (92 min.)

—Kristine Xu