Paris-Manhattan: A Charmless French Ode to Woody Allen | New in Film | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Paris-Manhattan: A Charmless French Ode to Woody Allen

Unless you watch Nancy Meyers' romantic-comedy oeuvre strictly for the interior design and décor, there's little to note about Sophie Lellouche's shallow, witless, but pretty-enough French ode to Woody Allen, couched in a loose revision of 1972's Play It Again, Sam. A model-thin blond beauty with perfect cheekbones, Alice Taglioni is unconvincingly cast as Alice, a lovelorn loner (perhaps we're meant to see her as drab because she's styled like a tomboy?) who has been obsessed since a teenager with, not Humphrey Bogart, but the Woodman himself. She even gets relationship advice from a vintage poster of Allen in her bedroom, imagined as voiceover line readings from his films, and when in doubt, Lellouche cues up funnier clips from yesteryear, like Gene Wilder in bed with a sheep for Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex (but Were Afraid to Ask). Enter the reluctant love interest: Handsome security expert Victor (Patrick Bruel) installs a chloroform-gas alarm system in Alice's pharmacy, which inadvertently goes off in his face after Alice lets a would-be robber go with a stack of guess-which-auteur's DVDs under his arm. Will they? Won't they? I don't mean "fall in love," but "fund Woody's next picture," which might explain his final-reel cameo in this charmless pastiche.
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Aaron Hillis is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.

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