I have a long, complicated relationship with Paris.
Growing up I always assumed I would live there. In high school I studied French and worked at it with a passion, because I always imagined myself living there. By the time I actually made it to France I spoke the language beautifully, and continued to right up until I threw myself into learning Italian a few years ago. Now everything I want to say comes to me in Italian, and although I can still understand french really well, when I want to speak the language the words come back to me far too slowly.
One of the ways that I was able to get proficient in Italian was watching lots of Italian films. I should probably do the same with the french films, but right now I’m just in the mood for watching endless movies set in Paris but happening in english. I get such a kick out of recognizing streets and cafes and interesting spots in Paris when I’m watching movies, and when I’m there I absolutely love turning a corner and recognizing a place from a film that I have loved.
So (once again) for those who are going to Paris, those who have come home from Paris, and for the daydreamers, here are 8 Must See Movies That Are Set In Paris.
Midnight In Paris
This movie is just perfect. A Hollywood screenwriter goes to Paris with his god-awful fiance and her awful family, and each evening at midnight gets spirited back to 1920s Paris where he meets and hangs out with Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Picasso et. al.
Every character is fleshed out so beautifully, you get a wonderful sense of Paris as they move through the city – this is a really wonderful film.
Within the first 5 minutes you will get so absorbed in this film that you will forget you are reading subtitles. Based on a true and incredibly endearing story, you will laugh until you cry, and be moved to your core as you watch this story unfold. A welfare recipient has to go on 3 job interviews and get the interview papers signed in order to stay on welfare. He goes to a job interview at the home of a multimillionaire quadraplegic and against his wishes manages to get himself hired as the personal nurse/caregiver. The film is all about the relationship that builds between the two, and how they completely change each other’s lives. It is just fantastic.
The Bourne Identity
This American spy-action-thriller centers around Jason Bourne, an american super spy who wakes up on a boat with amnesia. He has to try and reconstruct his life and figure out who he is and why people are trying to kill him. The story, based on the Robert Ludlum series, is very fast paced and exciting, and is largely shot in Prague and in Paris.
The DaVinci Code
Based on the Dan brown bestseller, an American symbologist and a French cryptologist race to solve a bizarre murder, which takes them from France to England, and leads them to make an incredible discovery about an ancient and mysterious society and a secret that dates back to Christ.
The is a great movie, and the views of the Louvre at night are sensational.
Paris Je t’Aime
This movie gives you a wonderful look at 18 arrondissements of Paris in the form of 18 short stories, each shot by a different director, and each taking place in a different arrondissement. The stories are about love in the city of light, and each story starts with the last shot of the previous story and ends with the beginning plot of the next story. Heart warming, heart breaking – perfect for those who love romance.
This is a story about getting the most out of life. Set in artsy Montmartre at the Cafe des Deux Moulins, it follows the quirky do gooder antics of Amelie, culminating in her finding true love.
You will see a million reasons why you need to spend time in Montmartre.
This is the second film in director Richard Linklater’s beautiful trilogy. The story picks up 9 years after the part of the story, Before Sunrise, where Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy) met one night on a train to Vienna. This rime their paths cross on afternoon in Paris. The views of the city are gorgeous, the dialogue is engaging, and you see that fate brought these two together again because they clearly are meant to be with each other!
Everyone Says I Love You
A madcap musical romance with an all star cast including drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Ed Norton and Alan Alda, Everyone Says I Love You takes place in new York, Venice and Paris. The views of Paris are sumptuous and obligingly take you past some of the city’s most famous attractions.