I remember watching Diane Lane for the first time in A Little Romance when she was only 13 years old. I’ve been a fan of hers ever since. So it was a no brainer when I noticed that she was starring in Paris Can Wait, and I went to see it in the theater.
It’s a sweet little film set in France. Anne (Diane Lane) and her husband Michael (Alec Baldwin) are in Cannes. Michael is a high-powered movie producer and due to illness, Anne cannot fly with him to Budapest. A business associate, the Frenchman Jacques (Arnaud Viard), offers to drive her to Paris where Michael will meet her later. Paris Can Wait is rated PG for thematic elements, smoking and some language.
So the joy of driving across the countryside of France begins. They cruise in Jacques’ Peugeot, taking their time, seeing the sights, and slowly Anne begins to relax and let down her armor. They eat, they drink, they see things tourists do, and meet up with a couple of old flames of Jacques.
Paris is still waiting, as Jacques is in no hurry to deliver Anne to her flat in Paris. The film moves a bit slowly at first, but as Anne warms to Jacques, and we see him acting the stereotypical flirting Frenchman that they are rumored to be, it is all very intriguing and romantic.
Close quarters have them finally sharing their deepest secrets with one another. Will this lead to a sexual fling for Anne, or will she stay loyal to her flawed husband of 20 years? You’ll have to watch to find out. I found myself gently smiling throughout the entire film. Diane Lane gives a beautifully nuanced performance. You can read her emotions just by looking at her face.
You’ll like this gentle film if you: 1) like Diane Lane; 2) are a Francophile; 3) are a romantic; 4) like good food and wine (You’ll want to go to a French restaurant once you leave this film.); or 5) like character driven films that show the humanity in all of us.
Eleanor Coppola of that famous Coppola family wrote the screenplay and directed the film. If you don’t already know, there is her husband Francis Ford, her daughter Sophia, and the cousin Nicholas Cage, who changed his name to distance himself from the famous clan to make it on his own. Creativity knows no age boundaries, as she was 80 years old directing her first feature film. Bravo!
Diane Lane was in another beautiful film, Under the Tuscan Sun, from 2003. I recommend that film as well as many others she’s been in. She is just a wonderful actress. I found it amusing that in this film she takes a lot of photos, and when she played Dalton Trumbo’s’ wife in Trumbo, she took a lot of photos playing that woman too.
See Paris Can Wait in the theater for the best scenery you’ll likely see all year at the movies.