Paris Can Wait, written and directed by Eleanor Coppola
Although interesting, sensitive, informative, this motion picture is not fascinating or breathtaking, even if it is signed by one member of the gifted, talented, creative Coppola family.
Diane Lane has the leading role of Anne Lockwood and she acts with professionalism and skill, but without a glow, an otherworldly quality, an inspiration from beyond, which alas, lacked at this film.
I loved Alec Baldwin, who has the small, supporting role of the husband, Michael Lockwood, surely influenced by his recent flabbergasting performances as the demented Trump, for Saturday Night Live shows, where he is absolutely outstanding!
Arnaud Viard has the role of Jacques Clement, an associate of Michael Lockwood, the two men working as producers in the film industry.
Michael and his wife are supposed to fly to Budapest and Jacques is accompanying them to the airport, stopping on the way to get some food and medicine for the ear pains that Anne is suffering from, then some strawberries.
Throughout, this hero will prove to be a connaisseur, a gourmand, if not on the level with Gargantua, at least very aware of the fine restaurants, the good wines, the specialties of various lands.
When they reach the hangar with the private plane that is about to take off, the heroine says that she is not feeling well and therefore she wants to skip the Hungarian capital and go straight to Paris.
The galant, polite, friendly Jacques Clement offers to drive her, because he will travel to the City of Lights and anyway, the trains will be full, now that the festival is over.
They agree on this, although jokingly Michael will come to regret it in phone conversations with his spouse, who travels with the French associate in his thirty - was it? - years old Peugeot, a cabriolet, odd looking vehicle, that needs water more than gas, for which they have to stop rather often.
Part of the attraction of this motion picture rests in the cultural tour, the informations given through this tour of France, by the amiable Jacques and tour guides when he is not available.
They pass first by the celebrated mountain that was painted by Paul Cezanne- who some say was the greatest painter of all- situated very near the main road- on the phenomenal artist, the American comments that she has seen some of his paintings that seemed very sad- if I remember this well.
When they are stopped at a gas station, Anne enters the shop, while the French man is looking after his car, but when she walks out, he has disappeared...to return after some time with the back seat full of roses, for he has a friend with a rose garden nearby.
Alas, the old Peugeot would not budge, after the man and the woman stop for a picnic near a river, in a splendid, magnifique setting, with wine, delicious food and heaven in their proximity.
They get a rental car, but they keep stopping and as a consequence...Paris Can Wait, for they stop at a hotel, where they have a romantic dinner, they exchange pleasantries and the romantic hero seems to try to get closer and closer to the good looking, middle aged woman.
He knows about the Romans, the glorious constructions- they take pictures near the famous bridge from antiquity- the fact that the ancestors of the Italians have started producing wine in...France.
This man does not know only figures, history and facts, but also a big number of people, in all the places that they stop in, and they keep interrupting their journey to Paris, so much so that Michael is worried, he says so in jest, but insists that his wife must be apprehensive of the French men and their ways, especially Jacques.
This romantic figure is not married, but he is clearly a womanizer, when they go to visit the museum dedicated to cinema and the inventors of motion pictures, the Lumiere brothers, Anne is accompanied by a museum guide, while Jacques is invited to the office of the manager, a woman he had known for a long time...when he comes out, he does not know that his traveling companion is in the vicinity and he pulls his trouser...the two have been busy faire l'amour.
Anne and Jacques get to know each other, stories, predilections, he even tells her a story with heavy impact, if unknowingly, when he mentions that Michael, who is such a grand figure, was approached by a beautiful woman who took his shoe, poured a drink and was ready to drink- or did she actually do it?- from it, making the film producer give her his pink Rolex watch.
The wife is affected and visibly distressed, saying I know the watch it was a gift from me!
This lamentable act of giving such a precious memory aside, one may feel that Alec Baldwin is a better choice than Jacques Clement, who is a confirmed womanizer after all.
And then he eats so much and talks about pain inflicted on animals that end up on the plate: escargots for instance.
Will they end up having an affair together?
I do not know, but the mystery maintained for such a long time seems to be part of the attractiveness of the movie, at least as intended by its writer- director.