Film: Paris Manhattan


When: Opens December 13


Parisian pharmacist Alice (Alice Taglioni) has been obsessed with Woody Allen since she was 15. She talks to a large poster of the director on her bedroom wall (a voice cameo from Allen ensures he answers back) and dispenses DVDs of his films as a tonic to her customers. Any problem that can’t be remedied by another viewing of Annie Hall is insoluble.

Really, this gentle romcom is a sweet portrait of the dangers of fandom. Alice is so obsessed with Allen that she can’t relate to anyone who isn’t. It takes non-fan Victor (Patrick Bruel) to show Alice that real life is just as messy, complex and interesting as Hannah and Her Sisters.

Unfortunately, Paris-Manhattan sets itself a massive task – can it be anywhere near as insightful, witty and engaging as its inspiration? 

It doesn’t help that its premise draws so heavily on Play It Again, Sam, in which Allen’s protagonist seeks romantic advice from an imagined Humphrey Bogart. It’s pleasant enough, but the viewer spends much of the film looking forward to rewatching something older, funnier and, frankly, better.

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