Paris, Je T’Aime

DVD boxTake several established directors.
Add a handful of legendary actors (with a sprinkle of fashionable ones).
Fold in some cobble stones and avenues.
Add it to a well-greased pan, splash it with Pernod and put it into a fan-forced oven.
Remove it before it’s fully baked and serve with 4kg of icing sugar.

If you like the sound of that, you’ll like Paris, Je T’Aime. If the idea of a frivolous confection for the whole family doesn’t get you salivating, steer clear.

It’s not all saccharine nonsense though, some of the short-films in this compendium work hard to redeem the rest. Daniela Thomas and Walter Salles provide a profoundly simple vignette of a young mother from the banlieue and Alexander Payne’s 14ème Arrondissement, which closes the film, is all the more remarkable in its monotone melancholia when set in relief against the heartless fancies before it.

Stylistically, the film is much of a muchness. France’s cinematic aesthetes like Jeunet, Besson and Ozon are notably missing. So, it’s left to Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle to add some surreal panache and, unfortunately, it’s just a silly muddle.

At least on DVD, you can skip to the good stuff.