Paris Je t’aime is composed of 18 unrelated short clips by about love in Paris. A different director directs each clip. The variety in the 18 clips makes this an interesting film. Some are dramatic and some go for comedy. I don’t remember all of them but there are a couple of unforgettable ones. One is is called “Quartier de la Madeleine” and it is about a tourist backpacker (played by Elijah Wood) who meets a vampire in a bridge. The clip was interesting and different but I didn’t like it because it was too weird. Clips with familiar faces were memorable too like the ones with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. Another was is the film with Catalina Sandino Moreno as an immigrant mother in Paris. Her character would leave her child in a daycare whilst she served as a nanny to a Paris couple. The irony was really striking and it really hit home. How sad was it to be able to take care of someone elses child but not your own, to hold an infant but be so far from yours? This would be torture, thinking of all the things you could not do for your child because you had to be able to supply for him or her. This movie showed both sacrifice and hope, which is why I think among all the films in Paris J’taime, this was the one I really remembered. The other striking film which seemed campy but stayed true to the theme of love was the film by Gus Van Sant. He showed two boys who did not understand each other, working together. One was French, the other American. There were looks and nothing more, until finally the call of curiosity made them talk to each other. It was touching to see two young men be able to communicate and relate, love-wise in such a non-conventional way.
What I liked about this movie is that, even though there is a time restriction, you could still understand and grasp each story. They don’t show the complete story but somehow you put the missing pieces in your head. The same thing goes for character development. Obviously you cant mold a complex character in 8 minutes. The characters in the 18 clips were stereotypes and didn’t need background cause you already have it in your head.
I like its American counterpart New York, I Love You better than this. I felt more love from that movie. This is ironic because Paris is the city of love so it should have love oozing from the cracks of its sidewalks. I think the love shown in New York, I Love You is more modern so I identify with it more. But I still like Paris Je T’aime because of its simplicity and variety in depicting love between different kinds of people living in our city.