Paris, Je T'aime (2006)

DVD Cover (First Look Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 72%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,682
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: November 28, 2007
The idea must have seemed like a brilliant one on paper - assemble a group of the best directors from around the world and have them each direct a short film centering around one of the many neighborhoods of Paris. This idea would have seemed perfect on paper. However, something was lost in translation - something that turned "Paris Je T'aime" into a bit of a bore, a film that doesn't have a head on its shoulders and never seems to take off. I kept waiting on something to happen that would warrant my having invested so much time into the picture, but it never happened. This was, sadly, just another case of big ambitions and zero pay-off. I've seen it all too often.

How's this for a list of directors: Olivier Assayas, Frederic Auburtin, Emmanuel Benbihy, Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Joel & Ethan Coen, Isabel Coixet, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuaron, Gerard Depardieu, Christopher Doyle, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydes, Walter Salles, Oliver Schmitz, Nobuhiro Suwa, Daniela Thomas, Tom Tykwer and Gus Van Sant. That's a lot of quality directors. Now, if each of them had directed their own two-hour picture on their love of Paris, maybe we would have had a few winners in the bunch. And, though each short deals with Paris in some way, there is not a single thread of logic that ties these films together, and therefore, the whole thing seems kind of pointless and pretentious.

There were certain shorts I did enjoy, however. Gus Van Sant's short deals with a young man who thinks he has met the man of his dreams, but never realizes that his dream boy doesn't speak a word of French. I also loved the short, which reunited Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazarra. Bob Hoskins, Natalie Portman, Willem Dafoe and Nick Nolte turn in nice performances in their respective films, and the shorts, on the whole, are strong efforts. There really isn't a bad short in the lot. However, combining them together into one picture was the problem because they don't fit together. Even the Coen Brothers short, starring Steve Buscemi, seems oddly out of place here. "Paris Je T'aime" was a noble idea and an even nobler try - it just didn't work for me, as a full film.

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