PARIS, JE T’AIME is a delight, whether you’ve ever visited the city or not. In two hours, eighteen of its twenty districts are each given a five-minute mini-movie, vignettes of Love in some of its myriad guises, with a few linking passages: all told, 22 directors pitched in. They include internationally familiar figures like Gus Van Sant, the Coen Brothers, Alexander Payne and Alfonso Cuaron, and other talented craftsmen with less recognition.
Some segments are funny, some endearing, a dash of drama, a touch of the weird. At five minutes each, even if the actors and their piece doesn’t grab you, just enjoy the views of the Latin Quarter, the Tuileries, Montmartre, the Seine and brethren.
The actors include Steve Buscemi, Nick Nolte, Gena Rowlands, Marianne Faithfull, Willem Dafoe, Juliette Binoche, Catalina Sandina Moreno, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elijah Wood, Natalie Portman, Ben Gazzara, Gerard Depardieu and Margo Martindale.
At least 27 people helped write these nuggets, many hands share the assorted photography, music and editing positions. Released in 2006, after being filmed over a four-year period, it was well reviewed, and enough of a success that it kicked off what was/ is intended as a series—-New York, I Love You and Rio, Eu Te Amo done, with Shanghai and Jerusalem on the boards.
Like a box of bon bons—open it up and dig in.