Film review: We’ll Never Have Paris

We'll Never Have Paris EIFF film finale. Pic: Comp
We'll Never Have Paris EIFF film finale. Pic: Comp
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TWELVE days and hundreds of films later, this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival limped to a close on Sunday with the UK premiere of unfunny romantic comedy We’ll Never Have Paris.

* *

FESTIVAL THEATRE

Written and directed by real-life couple Simon Helberg and Jocelyn Towne, We’ll Never Have Paris finds Quinn (Helberg), a neurotic florist, on the verge of asking his childhood sweetheart (Melanie Lynskey) to marry him - only to be confused when his attractive colleague (Maggie Grace) declares her love for him.

Bearing many of the elements typically be found in a Woody Allen film, it is a film of self-obsessed characters, continental locations and self-deprecating humour, but with no underlying reason for their use. While it adds a quirkiness, there’s very little subtlety.

In fact, not one character in the whole film warrants empathy in any way, the females particularly are only barely drawn. The escalating dilemma that envelops and fuels Quinn’s breakdown, too, is bizarre and unbelievable.

If the film has any positives, they are the result of the movie’s execution. Where the characters and plot contain no soul, the breeziness awarded by the direction and well-used pop soundtrack raises the quality mildly.

It’s a shame, however, that more time isn’t spent showcasing the many landmarks in Paris, as they’re far more exciting and rewarding than the dialogue.

For two years now, the EIFF has been closed by an inept ‘romantic comedy’ for no reason other than that they’re easy sells.

But when both have drawn such terrible reviews, and perhaps even turned prospective audiences away due to their bland natures, organisers should perhaps take it upon themselves to devote a little more of the festival’s overall budget to securing a more hotly tipped film for next year.