Monday, May 21, 2007

Avenue Montaigne

Ah, Paris. If you want romance, passion and a dose of falling in love, nothing beats a film set in the city of lights to have the heart throbbing and enflamed. Avenue Monaigne is the sort of French film that leans so heavily on its setting that there should be a character in the film's credits that reads: Paris--as themself. I could come up with a list of these kinds of French films that could be a genre of itself known as "Paris" but I don't have time for that today.

If you love French cinema, as indeed I do, watching one of these "Paris" films is not necessarily a bad thing. Paris is beautiful obviously so why not exploit its charms? At times Avenue Montaigne goes too far in this direction--the Eiffel Tower shows up at least a half a dozen times (look at the poster for the movie that I've located!) while couples linger in each other's arms or are on the cusp of brushing lips while the famous structure watches on. Avenue Montaigne wears its love of Paris on its sleeve and has all the elements that make up the myth of the city so attractive to people around the world.

Avenue Montaigne is a multicharactered story with people based around a particular street who become entangled in each other's lives. Some people are alone, some are lonely, some are ending relationships, some are beginning relationships, some are starting jobs, some are ending jobs, some are going through mid-life crisis, some are young, some are old, some are male and some are female. As they meet one another they get together and talk about all the old Parisian topics: love, art, culture and life.

I've always meant to go to Paris but haven't gone. In my old school (see post of May 12) romantic yearnings I really only wanted to embrace the full-on cliche of the place and go with my wife or the soon-to-be Mrs. Replicant. That plan hasn't come to fruition so now I'm thinking about just going over there and seeing the damn city by myself! Forget about all the cliche romance and just go. Cliches are boring anyway.

Avenue Montaigne isn't a great movie but it's great at giving you that romantic, enticing "Paris" as movie character that the local touris guilds surely appreciate. It's effective advertising for the city as I've thought little about the movie but a lot about getting on a jet and flying to Paris, with or without a wife at my side.

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