Dave's Rating:

3.5

… Linklater's filmmaking style …

Who's in It: Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg

The Basics: Delpy and Goldberg are a couple on a European vacation who have to stop in Paris to visit her parents. They comically bicker a lot, and she manages to run into every single ex-boyfriend she ever had. She fights with people in French, and the two of them have petulant and potentially deal-breaking misunderstandings. And that's about it.

What's the Deal? If you were one of those people who didn't like Before Sunrise or Before Sunset because nothing happened, then you're not going to be into this one, either. But there are some things to like — like when the pair do that funny, insulty couple-bantering and when Delpy is shooting off her mouth at fellow Parisians and being pathologically prone to violent public outbursts. I'll take that stuff over soul-searching meandering any day.

Somebody Owes Richard Linklater a Free Dinner: It's not just that she was the star of both Before movies, but she absorbed Linklater's filmmaking style, too — lots of loose, talky, meandering conversations, lots of shots of people wandering around while having those loose, talky meandering conversations. And she even gives him a Fast Food Nation shout-out by referencing that movie's most infamous claim about how all the burgers have feces in them.

Best Thing About It: Delpy is pretty funny here, and as a director, she isn't afraid to rub Francophile American film audiences' noses in a gruffer, less cute side of Parisian public life. So many movies that end up in this country show a romantic, well-off Paris that seems to be sanctioned by that country's tourism board. Even downbeat films by people like Michael Haneke or Claire Denis or Catherine Breillat often feature characters with lives you might aspire to in a perverse way. You think, Yeah, they're miserable, but they're miserable in Paris. Delpy's Parisians are either kooky sex-obsessed senior citizens or unpleasant younger people she gets into fights with.

Who Else Gets Shredded: American tourists wearing "Bush-Cheney '04" T-shirts and clutching copies of The Da Vinci Code. It's a lazy shorthand, but it's still funny to watch Goldberg intentionally give some fellow ugly Americans wild-goose-chase directions to the Louvre.

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