(Guy Marchand, Marie-France Pisier, et al / DVD / NR / (2006) 2008 / IFC Films)
Overview: Paul, depressed from his recent break-up with Anna, returns home to Paris and moves back in with his divorced father and amorous younger brother, Jonathan. While his carefree sibling and doting father try in vain to cheer him up, a visit from his mother seems to be the only thing that brings him joy. When Paul is then left in the house to brood and talk to one of his brother's girlfriends, he begins to realize that while things haven't gone according to plan, one can always find something to live for.
DVD Verdict: Here is an attempt at a feel good movie which looks to nostalgia to make its point. "Dans Paris" tells of Anna who just left Paul who moves back in with his father in Paris. His younger brother, Jonathan, is a casual student who also lives with his father and does not have much of a life aside from chasing women and playing at being busy. This lifestyle seems to be a cover up from the fact that he has not been able to get over the death of his sister. Paul also begins to sink into depression.
The film, thereby, deals with depression and with the idea that it can be cured with a little love and care from members of the family. However, the women that we meet in the film cannot help - they are either bores or sex toys for Jonathan. The men are quite the opposite - they are warm and show both emotion and sensitivity. They love and they show love.
Director Christophe Honore gives us a movie that is entertaining to a point and shows a balance of moods as he studies relationships--between siblings and between parents and children.
The dialog is smart and the contrast of characters is amazing. The two male leads, Romain Duris and Louis Garret, are two of France's hottest stars and they give excellent performances. The two brothers are a stuffy of dark and light. Jonathan is the narrator of the film but really a lesser character in the plot. He is a foil to his brother Paul because he succeeds with women. He is full of life while his brother is dark-spirited and without much hope. We do not see his depression as one-dimensional but he suffers from inertia and glumness.
Facial expressions many times say more than the dialog but there is a depth to the characterizations. The mood set is tragic-comic and the movie is an actor's dream. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
"Rendez-Vous With Louis" - A Short Film by Director Christophe Honore