COMIC DRAMA; 2hr 10min (French with subtitles)

STARRING: Juliette Binoche, Romain Duris

Family matters: Binoche and Duris

Paris is one of the most magical cities on the planet, and its enticing energy — part urban buzz, part indelible style — casts a silky sheen over writer-director Cédric Klapisch’s free-flowing reflection on Parisians at large. Elise (Binoche) and Pierre (Duris) are sister and brother. She is a single parent and a social worker who curses a blue streak; he is a dancer with a possibly terminal heart condition that has rocked his world. Roland (Fabrice Luchini) is a middle-aged historian overwhelmed by the beauty of a much younger woman. His brother Philippe (François Cluzet) is an architect who repeatedly bursts into tears.


Being French, these and numerous other characters have strong opinions on their place in the world. Klapisch cherry-picks their lives, dipping in and out apparently at random. The overall feel is casual to haphazard, with accents of weirdness and whimsy — and at 130 minutes, it strains the viewer relationship to the point where even this most fabulous city finally starts to wear thin. Maybe you really do have to be there.