Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Fan Movie for Woody Allen From France


“Paris-Manhattan” a Woody Allen Fan Film

By Skip Sheffield

Woody Allen is not universally admired. In fact some despise the whining, neurotic Brooklyn comedian who found his voice in movies that express his sad-sack outlook on life.
If you don’t like Woody Allen you will not like “Paris- Manhattan.” If you do, you may find this debut film by writer-director Sophie Lellouche a fluffy, slight delight.
Woody is the muse to Alice Ovitz (Alice Togliani), the lovely daughter of a Paris pharmacist.
Alice has a large portrait of Woody in her apartment. Her thoughts are often expressed in quotations from Woody Allen movies, spoken in Allen’s New York voice and subtitled in French, which makes Woody seem all the more deep and profound.
Alice is gorgeous but insecure and single. Her well-meaning father (Michele Aumont) is always pushing her to find some suitable match.
One such candidate is handsome Pierre (Louis-Do de Lenaquesaing), who takes an interest in Alice at a party. However, Alice’s more aggressive since Helene (Marie Delterre) muscles in on the conversation and snatches Pierre away before Alice’s disbelieving eyes.
Alice continues living her solitary life, working in the pharmacy and finishing her education. Helene marries Pierre but all is not peaches and cream.
Alice’s father gives the drug store business to her at age 30, and it seems despite her great beauty she is destined to spend the rest of her life behind the cash register. Then two men enter her life.
Vincent (Yannick Soulier) is dashing, sophisticated and handsome. Victor (Patrick Bruel) is a lowly burglar alarm salesman who is rather plain, older than Alice, and has never even seen a Woody Allen film.
“Paris-Manhattan” has a plot patterned after “Play It Again, Sam.” Instead of Humphrey Bogart giving advice to hapless Woody Allen, Allen himself gives advice to frustrated Alice. The film is an unabashed fan letter to Woody Allen and to Paris. It culminates with an appearance by the man himself. It is not a great or profound film, but if you are a fan of Allen and beautiful women, you may find it delightful.