11 August 2012

Sophie Lellouche’s 'Paris-Manhattan'

It looks as though any British Woody Allen devotee waiting for the UK release of his To Rome with Love in September will need even more patience before they get a glimpse of their idol in Paris-Manhattan, which, although premiered in Australia in April, has no UK release date as yet. Sophie Lellouche, like Julie Delpy writes and directs, but does not act in, her own first feature film, which by comparison seems to be an advantage. Her film, a romcom, is an homage to Woody Allen, mapping Manhattan onto Paris and set among a privileged jeunesse.

Like most of its kind, Paris-Manhattan requires a suspension of incredulity. For a start is it likely that the Ovitzs, a wealthy Parisian Jewish family, would set up their daughter, Alice, to be something as humdrum as a pharmicienne? Would Alice really have any difficulty finding a partner, blessed as she is with Alice Taglioni’s looks, even though mildly obsessed by the works and wisdom of Woody Allen? Would such an Alice actually fall for a mere technicien, even one as amiable as Patrick Bruel’s Victor? Probably not in all three cases, but no matter, it’s all very charming and nicely filmed in, as Allen showed in 2010, the world’s most photogenic city. The plot meanders a little, the homage turning into a reprise of Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery at one point. Allen must have a soft spot for Lellouche, his cameo (uncredited as far as I could tell) making the film – he will approve of much of the music.


Paris-Manhattan is now on release in the UK.

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