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A young American girl studying art in Paris can't decide if she wants to stay or go back home. She meets a young French boy and they fall in love, but her wealthy father arrives in Paris to take her back to the U.S. Written by
Beautiful young Jean Seberg (as Christina James) leaves Chicago for Paris, to study painting. There, she meets beautiful young student Philippe Forquet (as Guy), who sits for a portrait. After a few months of dating, Mr. Forquet proposes he and Ms. Seberg have sex. Although she loves him, Seberg is reluctant, and wants to concentrate on forwarding her career; she dreams of becoming the next "Renoir, Matisse, (or) Picasso." Seberg and Forquet try to forge a relationship, but he has a secret. Seberg encounters other men with problems, like reporter Stanley Baker (as Walter Beddoes). Or, is Seberg, herself, the problem?
Robert Parrish's "In the French Style" features excellent black-and-white location photography, by Michel Kelber. The performances are wonderful, and Seberg's carries the film, which loses direction after, to quote, "the years pass quickly," in Paris. This film is almost perfectly divided into two separate stories. The first part, with Seberg and Forquet, is the best. The story falls apart after Seberg's character becomes a modern day "Camille" - for too many minutes into the new drama, you're wondering what happened to the endearing (and extremely beautiful looking) young couple you've been following so far
Forquet makes an additional, brief appearance. His main replacement, Mr. Baker, is given no opportunity to match the romantic build-up of Seberg and Forquet, which hurts the film considerably. After the important, mostly off-screen relationship with Baker gets going, the story switches gears to focus on the arrival of Seberg's father, Addison Powell, in Paris. Father Powell wants Seberg to give up "the life you lead" (meaning men and parties) and return to a more ordinary life in Chicago. Seberg has to make a decision about her future when Baker's (news correspondent) job takes him to the Middle East (a war zone).
Seberg, who ended her life tragically in 1979, should have played "Camille"; she, like the movie, appears so full of potential. Forquet, who really has a handle on his character's age, is exceptional; unfortunately, he began disappearing after "The Young Rebels" (1970). Surprisingly, Powell appeared on TV's "Dark Shadows" (1968); as "Dr. Lang", he temporarily cured Barnabas Collins of vampirism. Fortunately, Baker went directly into lead roles that took better advantage of his worth, like "Zulu" (1964).
******* In the French Style (9/18/63) Robert Parrish ~ Jean Seberg, Philippe Forquet, Addison Powell, Stanley Baker
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