Magazine article Screen International

We'll Never Have Paris

Magazine article Screen International

We'll Never Have Paris

Article excerpt

Dirs: Simon Helberg, Jocelyn Towne. US. 2014. 91mins

Autobiographical romantic follies are reduced to glib, sitcom-style farce in We'll Never Have Paris, a charmless venture from husband and wife Simon Helberg and Jocelyn Towne. Helberg's Big Bang Theory following should be sufficient to secure some theatrical interest but the unappealing characters and contrived situations will make it an uphill struggle beyond that fan base. The film receives it UK premiere as Edinburgh's closing night gala after a world premiere at SXSW.

Helberg's screenplay has a sprinkling of Woody Allen-style one-liners and some visual gags but just not enough to overcome audience resistance to the lead character.

There are likable elements in We'll Never Have Paris, including brief appearances from supporting players Alfred Molina and Dana Ivey, a catchy soundtrack of French pop and some location filming in Paris. What isn't likable at all is the central character of Quinn Berman (Helberg), a neurotic,blustering, hypochondriacal emotionally stunted florist who seems to have strayed from an early and infinitely superior Woody Allen film.

After a 10 year relationship with the inexplicably loyal Devon (Melanie Lynskey), Quinn is on the brink of proposing marriage when attractive but gormless colleague Kelsey (Maggie Grace) declares that she might just be in love with him. Flattered by the attention of a tall blonde who once modelled, he breaks from Devon and quickly discovers that he has made a terrible mistake. By then, Devon has moved to France and so Quinn heads to Paris (cue references to Truffaut films and jokes about snails) where he tries to win her back.

Early on, We'll Never Have Paris makes the bold claim of being " based on a true story. Unfortunately". …

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