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Paris-Manhattan - Film Review

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by Shannon Norfolk (subscribe)
Set and Costume Designer, Theatre Creator, creative crafty type.....
Published November 19th 2012
Take a fun, romantic trip with Woody Allen
Paris-Manhattan is a sweet funny little film and I can understand why it was the "#1 smash hit of the 2012 French Film Festival".

This is a Woody Allen inspired film, and I must confess that I haven't seen many, if any, Woody Allen films, so a lot of references probably went straight over my head, but it never felt like I was missing out on anything.

The story is set in Paris and centres around Alice (played beautifully by Alice Taglioni), a pharmacist, who is obsessed with Woody Allen and his philosophies, so much so that she dispenses his films along with the meds to cure everything from depression to armed robbery.

She is, of course, single and her Jewish parents and sister are desperate to marry her off and help her achieve a seemingly perfect marriage like her sister. Alice prefers talking to her Woody Allen poster and is not interested in being 'feminine' to attract the right man, a lovely characteristic that drew me to her immediately.

Debut writer/director Sophie Lellouche has created some rather likeable characters even with their faults exposed. The sisters with their "I love you, I'll kill you" relationship. The parents can be over bearing and over protective of their daughters, but it is shown that their actions come from genuine love and concern.

Alice's sister, Helene, does genuinely want her to be happy, even though her constant match making produces some comedic and awkward moments. Helene's own insecurities are fully exposed with her teenage daughter and her mysterious boyfriend. There is a charming chemistry between the actors, the lovers/partners all connect well, including the disconnecting teenage Laura.

The story is light and breezy, balancing and flowing well between the heavier moments and the lighter comedic ones. On one hand I do think the mysterious hotel guest twist was a little naff but it was also a fun, romantic twist that brings it all together.

The cinematography was wonderful, I always love a film that makes the 'banal' look beautiful. It's amazing how poignant a supermarket can be when lit in a certain way.

I kind of wish I could have just sat back and enjoyed this film (as opposed to making mental notes for a review). There is a lot to enjoy and pleasantly mull over. I think I'll be making a second trip back to the Palace to relax and enjoy this film with a nice glass of wine.

Quick Bonus Review
Ohh, The Palace Cinemas are wonderful - clean, comfy arm chair styles seats, friendly staff, a wide variety of films and just a great atmosphere. Will always choose this cinema over others!
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Why? Romance and laughter are good for the soul.
When: From 13 December
Where: Palace Cinemas
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