If you’re longing for a delicious romantic romp to take your mind off the world going to hell in hand basket, Paris Can Wait is it. Eleanor Coppola, best known for putting together and narrating the landmark 1991 documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (about the torments suffered by her husband Francis Ford Coppola during the filming of Apocalypse Now) makes her non-doc directing debut with this delightful surprise package. Coppola is 80, but you’d never know it from her seductive lightness of touch.
Diane Lane is irresistible as Anne, the wife of movie bigwig Michael Lockwood (Alec Baldwin, enjoying a career resurgence after his knife-sharp comic takedown of Trump on SNL). Anne decides not to leave the Cannes Film Festival and join her husband on a business trip to Morocco, where he’s scouting locations for a new film. She’s done the hanger-on thing way too often to want to do it again. Instead, she drives to Paris in the care of her husband’s associate Jacques (Arnaud Viard), a French charmer who introduces her to the food, wine, art and the sheer beauty of his country.
And so begins a two-day road trip that shimmers with so many enticing temptations you may want to lick the screen. The flirty duet between Anne and Jacques is alive with amorous possibility, and Lane and Viard play it with delicacy and feeling. How close any of this is to Coppola’s own experience is, well, her business. But for 92 enchanting minutes, her dream holiday is ours as well.