Diane Lane stars in bourgeois film about a car ride to Paris and a life at a crossroads
A road trip through France turns tedious in “Paris Can Wait,” a tiresome travelogue where you wish the characters would hurry up and get to their destination already.
Diane Lane plays Anne, a put-upon wife married to a loutish, aloof movie producer blowhard (Alec Baldwin, quite convincing). They’re on vacation in Cannes when suddenly he’s forced to head to Morocco to drop in on one of his productions. He leaves her with Jacques (Arnaud Viard), an associate who will drive her to Paris where they can meet up when he’s finished.
So Jacques and Anne hop in the car, except first off they make a side trip to check out some local cheeses. And then another side trip to take in the flowers. And then another side trip, and so on, as Jacques toes the line between tour guide and kidnapper.
Jacques makes light come-ons to Anne, but nothing overt; he’s French, he’s just being polite. Or is there something more there?
There are things to admire in “Paris Can Wait” — there are worse places to spend time on screen than in the French countryside, after all — but after awhile, the lecherous Jacques becomes less charming and more creepy.
Lane has always excelled at playing women at some sort of marital crossroads, and she’s quite good here. But the more Anne falls into Jacques’ traps, the more frustrating the film becomes.
“Paris Can Wait” is directed by Eleanor Coppola, the 81-year-old wife of Francis Ford Coppola, so if it feels like a bourgeois vanity project, well, there’s a reason. It has its moments, but mostly it feels like being stuck in the backseat on a long car ride.
‘Paris Can Wait’
Rated PG for thematic elements, smoking and some language
Running time: 92 minutes