Paris Can Wait parents guide

Paris Can Wait Parent Review

Serving up a middle-aged woman’s fantasy, this road trip uses flattery and food to affirm the value and beauty of maturity.

Overall B-

Anne (Diane Lane) agrees to catch a ride from Cannes to Paris with her husband's (Alec Baldwin) business partner (Arnaud Viard). But the seven-hour car trip turns into a much longer affair when the not-in-a-hurry Frenchman takes several detours -- and the stressed-out American woman begins to remember what life can be like when you take time to smell the roses.

Violence A-
Sexual Content B+
Profanity B-
Substance Use C

Paris Can Wait is rated PG for thematic elements, smoking and some language.

Movie Review

At 80 years of age, Eleanor Coppola has written, directed and produced her first feature: Paris Can Wait. As the wife of the famous filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, and with a family tree well planted in the industry (such as her director daughter, Sofia Coppola, and her actor nephews Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman) she undoubtedly has some connections and behind-the-scenes insights. So, it is not hard to understand how she found money, crew and cast for her project. And it is even less surprising that her script focuses on a woman who is married to a successful moviemaker.

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Diane Lane plays Anne, an American who has followed her husband Michael (Alec Baldwin) to the French Rivera to attend a film festival. While he has been hobnobbing with stars and fighting off wannabes, she has keep herself amused by taking photographs, ordering room service and nursing an ear infection. When problems arise with a director working on one of Michael’s shoots, the movie mogul decides to head to Istanbul for a couple of days to straighten things out. Anne however declines the side trip, telling her preoccupied spouse that she will instead make her way to the Paris and meet up with him there. As luck would have it, Jacques (Arnaud Viard), one of Michael’s business associates, is planning to make the seven-hour drive from Cannes to the capitol himself. He kindly offers to take Anne along for the ride.

At first Anne feels a little awkward about travelling with the single Frenchman. Yet those misgivings soon take a back seat to the frustration she experiences when she discovers neither Jacques nor his old car can go very far without having to stop to refuel. In the case of the automobile, it is water and gas. For Jacques, it is cigarettes and fine cuisine. Still, after a day or two of his wining and dining, accompanied with a side dish of attentiveness and a heaping helping of complements, the usually ignored and/or taken for granted woman starts to agree with her charming companion: Paris can wait!

Serving up a middle-aged woman’s fantasy, this road trip uses Jacques’ flattery to affirm the value and beauty of maturity. He is also presented as a fresh romantic interest at a time when Anne’s marriage is feeling stale. And even though the older man may have a woman in every town and restaurant (there is a brief scene when he straightens out his clothing after spending some time alone with a former female acquaintance that looks a little suspicious), that depiction seems to be included to prove he’s attractive. Meanwhile Anne is portrayed as not wanting to have an affair – just flattered to know she’s still a temptation.

Presented more as an appetizer than an entrée, this fluffy film is full of beautiful scenery, interesting tidbits about food and history, and photos of amazing menu items sure to make you hungry. But this tour of France also flirts uncomfortably with infidelity in a way that may be equally as unhealthy as the way its characters over indulge in food and alcohol.

Directed by Eleanor Coppola. Starring Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin, Arnaud Viard . Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release June 8, 2017. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Paris Can Wait here.

Paris Can Wait Parents Guide

The film frequently mentions the fact that Jacques is French, and therefore more of a threat when left alone with a married woman. What stereotype is this referencing? Why is France supposed to be famous for lovers? Do you think that the French are more promiscuous than other nationalities? Does a person’s culture determine their moral behavior?

What qualities does Jacques possess that Michael doesn’t? What does Michael have that Jacque does not? Would Anne be happier if she switched partners, or would there still be deficiencies?

Anne is at the empty-nest point in her life. In what ways does that make her feel like she is starting a new chapter? How does that make her vulnerable? What are healthier ways for her to discover who she is than the ones presented here? Why do you think she chooses not to share some of her personal interests and feelings with her husband? Why might it seem easier to do that with a stranger? Do you think her marriage would be different if she were more open with her spouse?

In the film, Anne indulges in food, wine and spending money. How does the loosening of her restraint in these areas affect her feelings about her marriage?