This movie was on demand on the Sundance Channel and I just had to watch it again. It makes me so happy to watch this film and think about all of the different people and how their stories make up the fictitious population of Paris (both travelers and locals). Overall, this collection of short films jolts the viewer all over the place. From a single mom singing to her baby as she drops him off at all day childcare only to go to work and sing to a rich woman’s baby to the almost newlywed couple who rekindle their romance after the man hit’s his head on Oscar Wilde’s grave and suddenly gets a sense of humor; this film is enlightening and fun. My two favorite shorts in this film, if I REALLY had to choose two, are the mimes in “Tour Eiffel” and the tourist segment “14ème Arrondissement” with Margo Martindale.
I like “Tour Eiffel” with the mimes because it’s fun. It is basically saying that no matter who you are, someone is out there for you. The female mime played by Yolande Moreau and the male mime played by Paul Putner are forever charming and engaging. The segment is directed by Sylvain Chomet, who has a background in animation. This segment for Paris je t’aime was the first time he did anything live action. I think it’s fantastic and fun.
The other short that I really like is”14ème Arrondissement” directed by Alexander Payne. I love this one because at first it made me sad, but then it challenged what I thought was the norm and made me feel awkward for feeling sad. The awkward and awful french accent of tourist played by Margot Martindale is embarrassing and no where near as elegant as many of the other segments. She is a middle aged woman, never married, who works as a postal worker in Colorado. She has taken French for years in preparation for her travels to France, which she has saved for diligently, and this trip is her dream. I think the short’s intention is to point out that we automatically judge. Payne gives us an in depth look into the tourists feelings, just like a diary entry, and she reflects on how she has missed out on love in her life, but at the same time does not feel a lack of it. It challenges what we think happiness is and in the end makes us feel realize that we too can be happy unconventionally and that happiness is not any greater or less.