Paris Can Wait, C+
Rated PG, 92 minutes
The pleasant comedy "Paris Can Wait" has a great cast, features some delicious food yet a story that that lacks flavor and depth. Directed and written by Francis Ford Coppola's wife Eleanor and certainly filled with some autobiographical touches, I expected more given the source.
When her director husband (Alec Baldwin) is occupied with work in Paris, an American woman named Anne (Diane Lane) takes a jaunt with his business associate, a charming Gallic rogue named Jacques (Arnaud Viard) who is happy to squire her on a tour of some of the finest meals in Provence.
As a travelogue and eating tour across France, "Paris Can Wait" works serviceably, but other than that, there isn't much to it. Baldwin's role (probably loosely based on Francis Ford Coppola) is a supporting one, giving time for the lovely Lane to take center stage as she finds herself with the charming Jacques, warmly played by Viard and is the film's most memorable role.
While I'm definitely a fan of Lane, this role is a bit of a disappointment as written by Coppola; Anne becomes too passive of an observer while the chatty Jacques has her trying all sorts of delectable food, including tons of chocolate and a variety of different wines that would be hard to pass up even for the most discerning of appetites. Coppola's script tends to skim the surface of Anne's unhappiness and just when it starts to, it becomes preoccupied with food again, which itself is likely a metaphor for Anne's life, but that too is mostly unexplained.
Coppola has truly lived in the shadow of her more famous husband, and most of her films to date have been behind-the-scenes documentaries about Francis or other members of her filmmaking family. This could've been an opportunity for Coppola to live vicariously through the role and have had Anne let down her hair, run off with Jacques and traipse around Europe, too bad it opts for far more conservative decisions.
"Paris Can Wait" is easy, charming and goes down as easy as a chocolate truffle, light and fluffy, with some satisfaction for the moment and nothing else.