Paris Can Wait isn’t so much a movie but more of an overlong Tasty recipe that you see on Facebook. It looks nice and pretty with lush images of food and the French countryside, but it just prods through so mind-numbingly slow that we can’t wait for them just to get to Paris already.
The them, in this movie, is Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin and Arnaud Viard. Lane plays Anne, a somewhat-neglected wife of Alec Baldwin, whom is a very important movie industry type. While getting ready to travel to Budapest, Lane has some discomfort in her ears and tells her husband she’ll drive and meet him in Paris instead. Her co-passenger on her French road-trip is Jacques, an at times obnoxious, other times charming, but slightly mysterious French business partner of Baldwin who has an encyclopedic knowledge of wine, cheese, food and really everything. He’s like a PG-rated version of Anthony Bourdain, and is the film’s most compelling character.
But that isn’t saying much, because this movie just really goes nowhere, slooooow. The first act is a tedious bore and when we finally get into the heart of Anne and Jacques’ journey, its just nothing but pit stops (literally) when trying to reach its storytelling conclusion. Some moments are charming, like when Anne and Jacques replace his car’s malfunctioning timing belt with Anne’s ripped pantyhose. Most of the time, though, you get the sense that everyone involved participated because it involved shooting in France and eating fancy food for a few weeks. But really, can you blame them?
Paris Can Wait was written and directed by Eleanor Coppola, wife of famed director Francis Ford Coppola. Its Coppola’s first feature directing stunt and is an admirable effort, some parts of it really do stick out from a directing perspective. But it tries too hard to be a French version of Jon Favreu’s Chef: instead of giving us the goods like Favreu did, we’re just left with breadcrumbs.