Paris, France

(Canadian farce color)

Despite some steamy sex and frontal nudity (female and male), Paris, France is a silly farce with few amusing moments and many more boring ones. Pretentious yarn concerns a novelist who in order to overcome her writer's block, engages in wild sexual fantasies and escapades. Intermittently titillating, if also overly long, comedy might have some commercial potential for limited theatrical release, aiming at viewers who liked to be titillated and teased.

Lucy (Leslie Hope), a young married woman suffering from a severe case of creative block, decides to take matters into her hands and finish her semi-autobiographical novel, “Paris, France,” at all costs. Lucy hasn't written one word ever since she came back from Paris, where she was involved with the seductive Minter (Raoul Trujillo) in an amour fou that tragically ended with his death.

Back in Montreal, Lucy engages in yet another dangerous liaison with Sloan (Peter Outerbridge), a handsome bisexual poet, as a means for personal redemption and artistic renewal. At the same time, Michael (Victor Ertmanis), her ordinary-looking husband-publisher, faces his own phobia, prominent of which is an obsession with John Lennon's assassination.

Viewers who thought that Anais Nin, the model for the hedonist Lucy, was pretentious in Henry & June are bound for a real treat just listening to Lucy's pompous statements about art, literature, music, marriage and other “existential” issues. “You have to trust your own c–t,” says Lucy in what captures the intellectual level of aspiration of the picture itself.

Almost everything about Paris, France is derivative and second-hand, beginning with its cute title, a take on Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas. As scripted by Tom Walmsley and directed by Gerard Ciccoritti, the narrative registers as an agenda film in both personal and cultural ways. The filmmakers seem to be venting their own sexual fantasies, and also wishing to change the public stereotype of Canadians in the direction of as being more eccentric and sexual-minded than they have been usually portrayed.

For a while, the attractive appearances of Leslie Hope and Peter Outerbridge, whose angelic face recalls the young Terence Stamp, and their hot erotic scenes (some involving funny S&M sex), help redeem the redundant nature of the material and its questionable thesis of how to overcome creative problems. One wishes a writer's block could be resolved with wild sex.

The proficiency of the technical credits surpasses the quality of writing and direction of a feature-length film that would have worked much better if it were a short.


Lucy……….Leslie Hope
Sloan…Peter Outerbridge
Michael…Victor Ertmanis
William……….Dan Lett
Minter…..Raoul Trujillo


Running time: 111 minutes

An Alliance Communications Co. and Lightshow Communications production. Produced by Eric Norlen and Allen Levine. Executive producer, Stephane Reichel. Directed by Gerard Ciccoritti. Screenplay, Tom Walmsley, based on his novel. Camera (color), Barry Stone; editor, Roushell Goldstein; music, John McCarthy; production design, Marian Whihack; sound, Manse James; casting, John Buchan. Reviewed at the Toronto Festival of Festivals, Sept. 17, 1993.