Anna has just left Paul who, annihilated by the separation, moves back with his father in Paris. His younger brother Jonathan, a casual student, still lives in his father's apartment and ... See full summary »
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As a man leaves his wife and daughter, a series of brief conversations, observed gestures, chance encounters and impulsive acts, tell the story of the relationships that flounder and thrive in the wake of this decision.
Anna has just left Paul who, annihilated by the separation, moves back with his father in Paris. His younger brother Jonathan, a casual student, still lives in his father's apartment and spends most of his time womanizing and fooling around. But what this apparent lightness conceals is a deep wound. Jonathan, in fact, has never been able to overcome the death of his beloved sister. Meanwhile Paul sinks into depression... Written by
In one scene of the film, where Jonathan walks in front of the cinema, two movie posters are shown. One is for A History of Violence (2005), a film which was also released in cinemas in France via the same distributor as this film. The other is for Last Days (2005) starring Michael Pitt, who co-starred with Louis Garrel in The Dreamers (2003). See more »
Stale ratatouille for nostalgic "nouvelle vagueurs", though Louis Garrel is compulsively watchable
After the ambitious and catastrophic "Ma Mère" -- which bowdlerized Georges Bataille and cheapened Isabelle Huppert's considerable talents -- director/writer Christophe Honoré tucks in his tail and tries to woo the audience with this moldy, silly, instantly forgettable feel-good Christmas movie (à la française, bien entendu) addressed to nostalgic "nouvelle vagueurs" and middle-aged couples (gay and straight).
Godard and especially Truffaut are major influences here, from the casting of Louis Garrel in a mix of the Belmondo/Brialy/Léaud inconsequential womanizers, to the presence of Truffaut habitués Guy Marchand (as the insufferable father) and Marie-France Pisier (as the phallic mother). It features a rip-off of, uh, homage to the jump into the Seine from "Jules et Jim"; a singularly unattractive exploration of wintry Paris (the film is called "Dans Paris", but the title should have been "Dans un Appartement Vachement Laid à Paris"); and the insertion of Godardian tricks (those neon signs and a "naturalistic" musical number over the telephone that will make you cringe with embarrassment for poor Romain Duris). Briefly, "Dans Paris" is an unexciting, visually mediocre cinephile's tribute to the French New Wave with nothing new, funny or witty to say: it's as stale as last week's ratatouille.
"Dans Paris" also advocates the arguable notion that depression can be cured by family love and chicken soup. The women in the film are either insensitive phallic bores (the Mother, Anna), dim-witted disposable sex toys (Jonathan's lovers) or dead (the sister). On the other hand, the men ooze warmth, sensitivity and emotion: they're so full of love and they show it so much and so often (the real love scenes are between the men here) that by the end you start wondering why families need women again, except for that nasty job of procreation.
The only reason to watch "Dans Paris" is that screen magnet Louis Garrel: with his silent movie star good looks (he's got Louise Brooks' eyes and eyebrows, his profile belongs to a vintage Art Déco poster) and uninhibited physicality (he's got no problem with parading naked, as we know by now), Garrel reunites Léaud's gauche charms, Belmondo's non-chalance and self-confidence, Brialy's ambiguous sexuality, and an emotional availability that renders him instantly likable in any part. A young star in the great tradition of the handsome, talented French "jeunes premiers", Garrel is definitely here to stay, and ready to create memorable characters like his François Dervieux in the magnificent "Les Amants Réguliers" -- all he needs is a decent role and a good director (none of which can be found here). Because of him, I'll give "Dans Paris" these 4 stars the film itself doesn't remotely deserve.
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