An ode to food, France, film and flirtation, “Paris Can Wait” is a creamy but not entirely disposable bonbon of a movie.
Writer-director Eleanor Coppola makes her narrative feature debut here, albeit with a film not nearly as incisive or rigorous as her 1991 documentary “Hearts of Darkness” about her husband Francis Ford Coppola’s struggles to make “Apocalypse Now.” But viewers will no doubt detect notes of loss and even anger in a movie about the wife of a big-shot movie producer who learns to embrace her own desires during an unexpected road trip.
The fact that the film’s lead character, Anne, is played by Diane Lane goes a long way in explaining its appeal. Having attended the Cannes Film Festival with her husband, Michael (played in a brief, amusing turn by Alec Baldwin), Anne is planning on a much-needed getaway for just the two of them in Paris. But an ear infection keeps her from flying, and she accepts the invitation of Michael’s friend and business associate Jacques (Arnaud Viard) to travel by car.
“Paris Can Wait” is a modest, genteel piece of cinematic escapism, a silky testament to sensuality as impeccably tasteful as it is utterly undemanding. To use Jacques and Anne’s own lexicon, when they discuss the merits of youth and beauty, it’s not as cheap as a Pop-Tart, but it’s not quite a chocolate creme brulee, either.