The originality of this project is that its is composed by several 5 minutes shorts listed below in the order they appear in the movie :
- Montmartre - written and directed by Bruno PodalydÃ¨s
- Quais de Seine - written and directed by Gurinder Chadha
- Le Marais - written and directed by Gus Van Sant
- Tuileries - written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
- Loin du 16e - written and directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas
- Porte de Choisy - written and directed by Christopher Doyle
- Bastille - written and directed by Isabel Coixet
- Place des Victoires - written and directed by Nobuhiro Suwa
- Tour Eiffel - written and directed by Sylvain Chomet
- Parc Monceau - written and directed by Alfonso CuarÃ³n
- Quartier des Enfants Rouges - written and directed by Olivier Assayas
- Place des FÃªtes - written and directed by Oliver Schmitz
- Pigalle - written and directed by Richard LaGravenese
- Quartier de la Madeleine - written and directed by Vincenzo Natali
- PÃ¨re-Lachaise - written and directed by Wes Craven
- Faubourg Saint-Denis - written and directed by Tom Tykwer
- Quartier Latin - written by Gena Rowlands, directed by GÃ©rard Depardieu and FrÃ©dÃ©ric Auburtin
- 14e arrondissement - written and directed by Alexander Payne
Of course, all shorts are not at the same level and, for example, we all agreed yesterday that Faubourg Saint-Denis by Tom Tykwer and Tuileries by Joel and Ethan Coen were clearly on the top ranks while none of us had understood what was going on in Porte de Choisy by Christopher Doyle which is totally weird, funny but weird
The 5 minutes format was required and it's not that easy to film a story in such a short time so while Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas manage to pass so many un-formulated emotions in that time with Loin du 16e, other shorts give you a taste of "unfinished" which, in a way, also finally contributes to the movie as your attention is kept on the edge.
As you can see it on the pictures, the casting for Paris, Je T'aime is quite impressive with actors like Steve Buscemi, Nick Nolte, Bob Hoskins, Willem Dafoe, ... and so on ... but, finally the cast is quite poor in french actors and if the marketing around the movie insists on the fact that in Paris, Je T'aime all people speak their own language, finally it ends as a trap as with very very rare exceptions you only hear french and english (to not say "american").
First it's quite weird there are no more french actors in the movie as for most of the role where we have it, an english speaking actor was clearly not essential. Second the cast is far to be as international, and therefore rich, as Paris population is.
Some shorts like Gurinder Chadha's Quais de Seine or Oliver Schmitz's Place des FÃªtes counter that, trying to show the diversity of the population and cultures but... most of the shorts show realtionships between french and american people and you then have the strange feeling that Paris is quite an american city.
No doubt this movie will work very well in USA and that one of the unofficial goals to it is to awake the american tourism in Paris which as diminished very seriously after 2001/9/11 and is just starting back.
But I'm quite disapointed to not see, as it was announced a short from Wong Kar Wai or other foreign directors or french directors like Michel Gondry (who was involved as far as I know at the begining) or Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Finally, you don't learn much more about Paris itself as most of the story could have happened anywear else. I think that a little bit more involvment from parisian directors would have managed to change that a bit.
Anyway Paris, Je T'aime stays a very interresting experiment and is certainly a good entertainment.
I mark it with a very well deserved 4/6.
And end quite briefly my review as Liewen is currently awaiting for me in Disneyland Paris