This sprawling slice of life in the title city from director Cédric Klapisch (When the Cat's Away) follows the daily travails of a loosely interconnected group of Parisians: Juliette Binoche is a harried social worker caring for her dancer brother (Romain Duris), who has a terminal illness, who is smitten with an across-the-street neighbor (Mélanie Laurent, the revenge-minded theater owner from Inglorious Basterds), who is courted by her middle-aged professor (Fabrice Luchini). And so it goes.

Klapisch weaves these stories together with professional ease but a decided lack of wit, the result being more like a laidback Euro Crash than a French answer to Robert Altman epics. And Paris' ensemble cast is perhaps a little too stuffed with secondary characters (and too stuffed period, at an overlong 130 minutes).

Paris has its moments (the professor blasting "Land of 1000 Dances" and expounding on Wilson Pickett: "As strong as Descartes! The same intensity!"and Binoche watching over her brother at a party with his friends), but its ultimate appeal is as simple as photographing attractive people against an attractive cityscape.

Rated R · 130 min. · 2009
Director: Cédric Klapisch
Writer: Cédric Klapisch
Cast: Xavier Robic, Juliette Binoche, Romain Duris, François Cluzet, Fabrice Luchini, Mélanie Laurent, Karin Viard, Albert Dupontel, Annelise Hesme and Gilles Lellouche


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