Friday, July 18, 2014

Films for Paris in July...

Paris in July is in high gear and I've really been enjoying reading everyone's posts about French cuisine, Bastille Day, Paris in summer, French perfume, and literature set in France.  So many wonderful photos and subjects to get lost in - I am absolutely loving it.  As for me, I've been so busy reading non-Paris books that I haven't really had a chance to participate as much as I had planned.  All I've really done lately is listen to my French music CDs whilst I drive, write, and cook.  Realizing that I needed to kick it up a notch, I decided to watch some movies and get lost in Paris visually.  What films did I choose? 2 Days in New York, Sabrina, and Midnight in Paris.  Yes, I've seen them all before, but honestly its been so long, that I'd forgotten so many things that happen in each one, that I felt like I was watching it for the first time again.  Anyhow, I just wanted to share a few quick thoughts about each film.  Here goes:

I know the title has you wondering why I watched this film in reference to Paris in July, but I do have my reasons.  Firstly, it is a film by Julie Delpy - the French actress, writer, director (see, that counts)Secondly, it is the sequel to her 2007 film, 2 Days in Paris (which I absolutely love!), which meant that it would be chock full of French actors from the first film (and it was).  And, thirdly, I just wanted to watch it.  Okay, so what is it about?  Well, its about a French woman named Marion (Julie Delpy) and her boyfriend, Mingus (played by Chris Rock).  They live a cozy life in NYC with their children (she has a son and he has a daughter) and everything is moving along swimmingly, until Marion's family decides to come visit.  Her father, sister, and sister's boyfriend (which happens to be Marion's ex, Manu) take over the apartment and overwhelm Mingus with their fire rapid French, overt sexuality, drug deals, and cultural miscommunications.  Its truly a treat to watch. The dialogue is smart and funny, the acting is spot on, and the story itself is relatable, because who doesn't have family members that drive you crazy at times?

According to Sabrina Fairchild, "Paris is always a good idea.", and I think she is right.  After watching this movie and seeing how much she grew and changed in Paris - who wouldn't want to travel to the City of Light?  Sabrina is about a young woman who is madly in love with a man named David Larrabee.  She grew up watching David from afar (well, perched on a tree actually).  Her father is the Larrabee family's chauffeur, so Sabrina has known David all his life.  However, David is a playboy and has never taken notice of Sabrina.  All of that changes after she returns from an internship in Paris.  Sabrina comes back more grown up and self-assured, thereby finally catching David's attention.  He is smitten, but nothing manages to work out right between the two, thanks to Linus (David's older brother).   Suffice it to say, love does blossom for Sabrina in the end.  And Paris is there waiting for her.  I love this film.  I love watching Sabrina grow into herself  in Paris. I love looking at Paris through her eyes.  And, I especially love how sentimentally attached she has become to a city that awakened her - a city that really seemed to affect her in so many positive ways. 

A movie about a writer obsessed with 1920s Paris is one thing,  but throw in time travel and I'm hooked.  Gil Pender and his fiancee are in Paris with her her parents.  He's trying to work on his novel about a nostalgia shop, while she is seeing the sights with friends.  By chance, Gil discovers that at the stroke of midnight he is able to hop in a taxi and visit with his literary heroes (Hemingway, Stein, and Fitzgerald) in the 1920s.  He is flush with excitement at the prospect of talking to the men and women who have created some of the world's greatest literature and art.  Plus, he winds up meeting a woman and becoming rather besotted with her.  Gil is living his dream during these nightly jaunts, however during the day, he's starting to realize what a nightmare his fiancee really is.  The more time he spends in the 1920s, the more Gil begins to realize he wants to live in Paris, without a fiancee.  Through Gil's eyes we get to see a beautiful, rainy Paris that is filled with love, adventure, and dreams.  Midnight in Paris is a wonderful film filled with witty dialogue, terrific acting, and amazing cinematography.  I absolutely fell in love with this film all over again.  
And there you have it, my three films for Paris in July.  I actually plan on watching Le Divorce again, too.  I just find that movie to be funny and a little ridiculous, which is why I love it.  Plus, it has Birkin bags, a crime of passion, and Paris.  Anyhow, I'm off to do some reading.  Bonjour!


Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I love that version of Sabrina! And I've been meaning to watch Midnight in Paris. I just haven't. It sounds fantastic.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Holly, me too! Definitely watch it - you will love it :)

Tamara said...

Love Love Love Sabrina!!! Its my go to when I'm down and feeling blue, and my go to when friends say 'what shal wee watch?' I love both versions, and I have it in French too.... Movies are such a great way to get into Paris, especially when you cant be there. I've been watching a few too - Haute Cuisine, Paris (Cedric Klapisch), Amour (Michael Haneke)and l'appartement (Gilles Mimouni).

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Tamara, isn't is such a great film. I love it! Always makes me smile :) I'm jotting down those films you listed - I've heard of Amour and l'appartement - must watch them soon!

Anonymous said...

Midnight in Paris is one of my favourite films of all time. I feel like the backdrop of Paris as well as all the people featured within the film are captured so perfectly!
Bits & Bobs

Brona said...

I also rewatched Midnight in Paris on the weekend, I love, love, love the scenes where Gil is walking around Paris with the various women in the movie. (We also revisited Baz's Moulin Rouge as well this w/e).

I've only seen the original Audrey version of Sabrina (& can't imagine that anything would be better than that!)

Have you seen Delphy's 3 movies with Ethan Hawke? The second one is set in Paris...I highly recommend them.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Jade, I totally agree with you :)

Brona Joy, those scenes were my favorite as well :) I need to watch the Hepburn one. And, yes I've seen the Delpy and Hawke films - I love the second one best :)