Eleanor Coppola’s Lifetime-co-produced “Paris Can Wait” is a pretty picture, especially coming from an eighty-one-year-old first-time fiction writer-producer-director. Among Coppola’s earlier credits are a couple of limber autobiographies, and shooting the footage for “Hearts of Darkness,” the “Apocalypse Now” making-of documentary that was edited by the late George Hickenlooper. An American wife (Diane Lane) loses track of her indifferent husband (Alec Baldwin) when she finds herself traveling by car from Cannes to Paris with a Frenchman (Arnaud Viard). Life in such a life, in such profusion, could be so wondrous. Surfaces shimmer: “Paris Can Wait” is foodie porn. Bistro porn. Landscape porn. Auguste and Louis Lumière museum porn. Ozu cutting-pattern porn. (Objects materialize in successions of three.) Oh, and long shots and medium shots and close-ups of Diane Lane. A mature Diane Lane in the footsteps of the young Diane Lane of “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains,” and Francis Coppola’s “The Outsiders,” the assurance of Ellen Aim in Walter Hill’s “Streets of Fire,” the vulnerable yet headstrong wife of Adrian Lyne’s “Unfaithful.” Lane’s spark rises above the genial gentility of the tossed-off plotting. It’s a splendid vehicle for her uncomplicated charm. The costumes, effortlessly capturing breezy luxe, are by Milena Canonero (“Barry Lyndon,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Marie Antoinette,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”). A production of the Coppola family’s American Zoetrope, “Paris Can Wait” shares a financier, Tohokushinsha, with her daughter Sofia. 92m. (Ray Pride)
“Paris Can Wait” opens Friday, July 14 at Siskel.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.