Writer: Valerie Ong Hui LinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
If you like buffet as opposed to set menus, with a little bit of everything.
"Paris je T'aime" interestingly blends the idiosyncratic neighbourhoods in Paris in a myriad of 18 love stories that ranges from the romantic to the tragic, and from the dramatic to the bizarre. The film touches on the love between races, classes, and the rich and the poor. The film draws on the artistic strength of 20 directors including Gus vant Sant and the Coen Brothers and actors like Natalie Portman and Elijah Wood. 20 being the number of arrondissements of Paris, the film eventually tied together 18 love stories. The two remaining love stories were not included as they could not be properly integrated into the movie.
Take, for instance, the 'love story gone sour' of wealthy, mature couple played by Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara. They go through a divorce in the well-heeled Latin Quarter. Or watch as a mime artiste finds his soul mate at the Eiffel Tower. Then we have Natalie Portman who plays a girl in love with a visually handicapped man. Or be warmed by the love between father and daughter played by Nick Nolte and Ludivine Sagnier. If this all sounds like a typical romantic movie, then the segment by Wes Craven, who directs the segment where a couple rediscover love with the help of Oscar Wilde's ghost at the famous cemetery, Pere-Lachaise. We also have Vincenzo Natali's gothic take on the Quarter de la Madelaine. Here, Elijah Wood plays a tourist who is seduced by a vampire.
The upside of this film is that with the bountiful stories tied into one movie, there are plenty choices for you to like or hate the film. You find yourself loving some parts, if not all; identifying with the highs and lows of love; or puzzling over the more bizarre bits. Viewers should not expect any of the stories to link up into one dramatic common conclusion because the movie maintains the separated-ness of each story faithfully. The common thread must only be love and the city of love. The novelty of "Paris je t'aime" as a whole makes this a unique film.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008