Anne is at a crossroads in her life. Long married to a successful, driven but inattentive movie producer, she unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband. What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a carefree two-day adventure replete with diversions involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom and romance, reawakening Anne's senses and giving her a new lust for life.
The Coppola name comes with big expectations nowadays, but Eleanor Coppola (wife of Francis Ford, mother of Sofia) offers up a sweet, simplistic and somewhat conventional film about a 50 something woman who stumbles her way into a delightful adventure.
Diane Lane plays Anne, the elegant but somewhat neglected wife of a successful producer. They are supposed to take a long-delayed vacation in Paris only for that vacation to get delayed again when her husband, Michael, has to rush to Budapest for work. Anne is initially supposed to go with him, but when a severe earache prevents her from flying Michael's producing partner Jacques steps in and offers to drive her up to Paris. What is supposed to only be a quick car ride slouches into a several day long trip as spendthrift Jacques insists on making numerous detours to sample the architectural, culinary and cultural delights.
The movie is full of clichés (I mean really, a charming Frenchman named Jacques?) but Lane and Arnaud Viard have good chemistry and it's fun playing tourist by proxy as they stroll around the countryside flirting and looking chic. The movie only stumbles towards the end when it tries to get serious.
Early on the film comments about the importance of timing the perfect soufflé so that it doesn't deflate. Unfortunately, while made up of all the perfect ingredients this film isn't time quite write. It deflates a little upon conclusion but much like a soufflé would be, it still tastes perfectly alright.
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