Picture Paris (Brad Hall 2011): USA

Reviewed by Lulu Yamaguchi. Viewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival.

During the Film Festival, I couldn’t watch “Picture Paris” all the screening schedule of it. I’m glad that this film was chosen for 3rd weekend then I finally could made the 3rd chance to view it.

Ellen Larson (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is an ordinary woman who is into Paris so much. A voice-over says She thinks about Paris when she feels sad. She think about Paris when she feels happy. She thinks about Paris when she need sleep. She goes to French cooking class. She listens French practice CD in a car.  In the ultimate analysis, she loves Paris so much. She plans travel Paris after her son, Zack (Matthew Fahey) enters college. After Ellen and her husband, Randy (D. W. Moffett) see out him college, Randy confesses that he affair with Ellen’s friend Olivia and broaches divorce. She goes to Paris alone.

In an ordinary film, Ellen should have had fun in Paris. She may fall in love with handsome Parisian and start new happy life. Indeed, Ellen’s Paris life doesn’t go well. She orders coffee in French. but a  waiter reply in English.  Tourist boat is inactive. It is not like her dreaming Paris and she is disappointed for the first few days. It is very realistic. I had exactly same experience in Hawaii that I spoke English and got reply in my language Japanese. I felt so embarrassment my broken English at that time. Going through this Non-native experience in foreign country, Ellen makes friends and gets job and meets Parisian who loves her.

The scene goes back to a moment when she argues with ex- husband before she leaves to Paris. This film’s highlight is after that. It is very surprising and unexpected ending.

It has lots of entertainment essence in only 29 minutes. On the other hand, If it were 2 hour film, probably it won’t be lightly but too much. It must be perfect writing, and editing.

I recommend this film everyone.

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