Lost in Paris (Paris Pieds Nus)

July 17, 2017 at 11:27 am | Posted in 2017 | Leave a comment
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“And now,” as Monty Python would say, “for something completely different.” So much of what I watch and love is dark, cynical, disturbing that I am delighted to say how much I loved this goofy little charmer. This comedic love story is so essentially French and a lovely nod to the slapstick comedies of a different era. It was written and directed by husband and wife, Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordan, who apparently met through the circus in the 1980s and have been together ever since. They have made multiple movies together, in which they always play characters named “Dom” and “Fiona.” Here, Fiona is a Canadian woman who goes off to Paris for the first time after getting a letter from her aunt, played by Emmanuelle Riva, who looks almost unrecognizable from her Best Actress Oscar-nominated role in “Amour” (my favorite film of 2012). In Paris, Fiona encounters Dom and lots of misadventure. Both Gordan and Abel are terrific physical actors, who look and act half their age (I found it shocking to discover that both are 60). They bring such a joy to their roles that it’s hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm. This is a bright, playful movie that whisks its audience along from scene to scene atop a froth of giddy energy. Everyone on screen is having so much fun, it’s almost impossible for the audience not to. In fact, the restaurant scene is a sheer joy from start to finish. In some ways, the film plays like a cartoon with wildly exaggerated facial expressions, ridiculous coincidences, beautifully staged sight gags and a palette rich in primary colors; Fiona is all in green and red, Dom wears various shades of yellow. In fact, bright red is a recurring color that often dominates the screen, reminding us of how cartoonish and larger-than-life this whole caper is. The unfortunate thing about slapstick is that it can wear a bit thin and the latter third of the film drags a bit. But, at only 1:20 long, the film never manages to overstay its welcome. Just at the time I was really about done, it was also. This was a good, fun, light-hearted joyride of a movie. I don’t see enough of them and I suspect most people don’t, either. See this one; it’s worth your time.

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