2 July 2011 4:59 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Monte Carlo is a good-natured throwback to romantic comedies that took place in exotic locations for no reason other than for escapism. Here is a film that’s pure escapism, light and upbeat if missing a biting wit that would have made this delightful. Instead it’s an adventure film with a farce structure but refuses to waltz into farce, holding the line. Selena Gomez stars as a recent Texas highly graduate, who is sent by her step father to Paris with her best friend, Emma (Katie Cassidy) and her half-sister whom she has tenuous relationship with, Meg (Leighton Meester).

Staying only one night in Paris (hey, wasn’t that title of something else?) they see key tourist destinations at a break-neck speed, but when they slow down they get stuck. They discover Gomez’s Grace looks an awful lot like rich heiress/snob Cordelia Winthrop Scott (why can’t »

- John Fink

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