THE 5 BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2012

BISAPPOINTMENTS

Monday is the day where I do The Phenomenal 5. But honestly, it’s kinda hard to fit the word “phenomenal” in with this list. Just as every movie year has its great films, every year also has its movies that fell short, disappointed, or simply missed its mark. 2012 was certainly no different. For this list I’ve picked five movies that just didn’t work for me. Now I’m not claiming that these are the worst films on 2012 (more on those later). Nor am I including movies like “The Master” which I feel is overrated but that has some undeniable strong points. These five films are movies loaded with potential and high expectations but ended up as real letdowns. (Click on the names of each movie for a link to my full review).

#5 – “BATTLESHIP”

battleship

I almost left “Battleship”off this list entirely. It wasn’t a movie that I had huge expectations for therefore it wasn’t a major disappointment. On the other hand, I bought into the flashy, action-packed trailers that showed off the cool technical side of the film. Unfortunately that’s about all this movie had to offer – lots of explosions, cool alien technology, and nothing more. Even more, I was really surprised at just how lame the script really was. It’s completely predictable, filled with clichés, and features an absolutely absurd rise in military rank for our protagonist. Look, I get that “Battleship” was a mindless, summer popcorn flick. But even those have to execute better than this movie does.

#4 – “TAKEN 2”

TAKEN2

I really like the first “Taken” film. It was one of the first films featuring the new tough guy Liam Neeson. I ignored all of the bad reviews and made my way to the theater to see “Taken 2”. Sigh! There were moments that I liked in the movie. But there weren’t many of them. “Taken 2” completely dropped the ball in the end. It’s a lazy, check cashing effort that seems to have worked judging by the box office numbers. But I found myself frustrated at the film due to its poor camerawork and absolutely absurd moments. Some of Neeson’s tough guy techniques are ridiculous and I’ve rarely seen a stupider bunch of the bad guys. And then there’s the climactic fights at the end where the camerawork is so bad you have no idea what has taken place. One thing I do know, “Taken 2” definitely qualifies as a disappointment.

#3 – “CLOUD ATLAS”

cloudatlas

I was completely unfamiliar with the source material for “Cloud Atlas”. But after hearing all of the excitement from many others, I became pretty enthusiastic about the movie adaptation. I came out really disappointed but I’ve also grown more disenchanted with it as time goes by. There’s a lot of ambition tied into this film. It also takes chances and I always like that. But this is a mishmash of incomprehensible nonsense, self-indulgent style, and heavy-handed sermonizing wrapped up as a groundbreaking, science-fiction epic. Now I can see where people may buy into it but I saw it as a lot smaller than it tries to be. A couple of the storylines are interesting but as a whole it just didn’t come together and I have no interest in seeing it again.

#2 – “TO ROME WITH LOVE”

ROME

I was never a big fan of Woody Allen, at least not until I saw “Midnight in Paris”. I remain mesmerized by that movie both due to its heart and it’s incredible witt. Allen’s European cinematic tour continued with “To Rome With Love” and how could it not be good, right? Sadly the movie flies off the rails at the halfway point and never captures any of the locational magic that made “Midnight” so great. Now I will say the movie starts off promising and I was starting to think Allen had struck gold again. But things take a ridiculous turn and the second half of the movie is about as sloppy as anything I saw all year. I was really hoping Woody Allen would do for Rome what he did for Paris. Instead he left it just short of a disaster area.

#1 – “TOTAL RECALL”

TOTAL RECALL

Many of us have questioned the barrage of remakes coming out of Hollywood these days. But “Total Recall” was one film that seemed primed for a modern day makeover. And while I did have questions, I back-burned any skepticism. Unfortunately there were a lot of reasons to be skeptical. I watched the original “Total Recall” tons of times after its release. This flashy remake not only fails to capture the fun, sci-fi action and adventure of the original, but it leaves out much of what made the first film so good. The glaring creative changes and omissions decimate the story so much so that the fantastic visuals and great special-effects can’t cover it. This is a really good looking movie. But it’s also a complete drag and it fails to capitalize on what should have been a surefire formula.

There are my five biggest disappointments of the 2012 movie year. Agree or disagree? Please let me know. Also take time to share some of your biggest disappointments of this past year.

THE THROWDOWN: “Annie Hall” vs. “Midnight in Paris”

Wednesday is Throwdown day at Keith & the Movies. It’s when we take two movie subjects, pit them against each other, and see who’s left standing. Each Wednesday we’ll look at actors, actresses, movies, genres, scenes, and more. I’ll make a case for each and then see how they stand up one-on-one. And it’s not just my opinion that counts. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Visit each week for a new Throwdown. Vote each week to decide the true winner!

*Last week Schwarzenegger (53%) out-muscled Stallone (47%) in our action icon Throwdown*

This week we move about as far away from the previous week as humanly possible. It’s old Woody versus new Woody in a Woody Allen Throwdown! When you see a Woody Allen film you know it’s a Woody Allen film. Yet in some ways his approach to filmmaking has changed over the past few years. So I thought it would be fun to pit what many view as a romantic comedy masterpiece in “Annie Hall” against Allen’s more recent and widely popular “Midnight in Paris”. These movies are wildly different yet each look and feel like a Woody Allen picture. So enough of the buildup. It’s old Woody Allen against new Woody Allen. It’s New York against Paris. It’s the Throwdown and your votes decide the winner.

“ANNIE HALL” VS. “MIDNIGHT IN PARIS”

In 1977, Woody Allen released “Annie Hall”, a movie that some have called the quintessential romantic comedy. Allen’s quick wit is never more evident than in the lightning fast and razor-sharp dialogue from the script he wrote about an eccentric New Yorker and his quirky perception of love and relationships. Diane Keaton won an Oscar for her role as Annie, a woman who ended her relationship with Allen’s character a year earlier. Allen spends the film lamenting his lost relationship and then moving on with his life. But can he ever really get Annie out of his mind? “Annie Hall” received three other Oscars including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. While I’m on record as saying I’m not the biggest fan of “Annie Hall”, it’s a movie that is loved by many.

In 2011, Woody Allen’s European tour stopped in The City of Light, Paris, France. “Midnight in Paris” is Allen’s love letter to the city, its beauty, and its history. Owen Wilson is fantastic as Gil Pender, a hack writer who believes he was meant to live in Paris during the 1920s. Allen shows us the magic of the city now and takes us back to the days of Hemingway, Picasso, and the Fitzgeralds. It features an incredible supporting cast highlighted by Tom Hiddleston and Corey Stoll as well as beautiful cinematography in some if Paris’ most glorious locations. This is a step outside of the box for Allen. More importantly, it’s a wonderfully romantic film that gives the most lovely look at one of the world’s greatest city. Allen won an Oscar for the screenplay and I can say without hesitation he certainly deserved it.

So is it Allen’s Best Picture winner “Annie Hall” or his love letter to the City of Light “Midnight in Paris”? I’ve got a clear favorite between the two. Do you? Your votes decide the winner. Click below and vote NOW!

Visiting the Locations of “Midnight in Paris”

It was only a little over a month ago that my wife and I made our first visit to Paris, France. Obviously this amazing city has tons of history and culture to offer and its sheer beauty, natural vibrancy, and great food make it a destination that shouldn’t be missed. But as a movie fan, and in this case a huge fan of Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”, I saw our visit as an opportunity to see some of the locations he chose for his film (as well as several other Paris movies). We wandered all over the city from Montmartre to the Latin Quarter, from the upscale 7th arrondissement to Les Marais, and along the way I ran into several of Allen’s spots. So I thought it would be cool to share them here, not just as another way to drool over Paris (something I could easily do), but as a chance to share the great experience I had as a movie fan.

MUSEE RODIN

Early in the film we get our first real glimpse into Paul’s true pseudo-intellectual self absorption as they visit The Rodin Museum. As the four are admiring Rodin’s popular sculpture “The Thinker”, Paul flexes his faux knowledge of Rodin until he is corrected by the guide as well as Gil. Paul will have none of it and goes as far as to argue with the guide. Gil later returns to ask the guide for a favor.

I loved our visit to Musee Rodin. The inside collection was fabulous but for me the true treasures were in the beautiful gardens and wonderfully placed sculptures none better than “The Thinker”. While much smaller in scale than the Louvre or the Orsay, the Rodin Museum still managed to be a favorite spot of mine in all of Paris.

PLACE DAUPHINE

In one of the most romantic scenes in the movie, Gil and Adriana take a nighttime stroll and end up on the terrace at Restaurant Paul’s in Place Dauphine. It’s here that Gil gives her the earrings and then pours his heart out to her before a carriage comes to transport them back even further in time.

The cool thing is that Restaurant Paul isn’t a fictional place. It sits right in the cozy Place Dauphine. Unfortunately due to the time of day the restaurant was closed but we did get a chance to take pictures and admire the cool setting for what was one of my favorite scenes in the film.

SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY

There’s a brief scene in “Midnight in Paris” that shows Gil walking out of Shakespeare and Company. It’s certainly not a pivotal scene but it shows Gil on one of his strolls admiring the city that he truly loves.

I loved Shakespeare and Company! We stumbled on it after walking around the Latin Quarter. There is such a great feel of history as you approach the cool English bookstore. The narrow aisles inside house an amazing assortment of titles and going upstairs takes you right back to the days of Hemingway, Joyce, and Sylvia Beach. I bought a copy of “The Great Gatsby” and got my Shakespeare and Company stamp on the inside. I left one happy traveler.

QUAI DE BOURBON

After Gil is picked up by the old-time classic car, it takes him back in time to a  lively party on Quai de Bourbon. It’s at this party that Gil notices Cole Porter singing and playing the piano. It’s here that he also meets Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In the film we see the street as the car drives up and this was Gil’s first taste of the Roaring Twenties.

Quai de Bourbon winds around the tip of Ile Saint-Louis. We crossed over from the Notre Dame cathedral and came across the street by mistake. In fact at the time I didn’t remember the name but I most certainly recognized it from the film. It was a great moment of discovery and I couldn’t help but reflect back on the film as we walked down the street.

QUAI DES ORFEVRES

Quai des Orfevres appears in the movie on two different occasions. One of the scenes has Gil walking along the Seine clearing his mind and soaking up the city. Later in the movie it’s here that Gil and Adriana comes across a distraught Zelda threatening to jump into the Seine.

We came across this lovely location on a number of occasions. It was a gorgeous cobblestone walk along the river lined with trees and featuring some beautiful views of Paris. When you see it, it’s so easy to see why Woody Allen chose to include this particular location in his film.

SQUARE JEAN XXII

After buying an old book written by Adriana at a riverside book seller, Gil convinces the guide from the Rodin Museum the translate it for him. The two sit on a bench at Square Jean XXIII with Notre Dame standing tall in the background. It’s here that Gil finds out that there is a true connection between him and Adriana.

After visiting Notre Dame we spent a little time in the lovely Square Saint Jean. It’s here that you get the best views of Notre Dame’s buttresses and really highlights the Gothic architecture. The park is lined with benches, trees, and play areas for children. They also have bathrooms that you have to pay to use! No thanks.

PONT ALEXANDRE III

While it also appears in Woody Allen’s opening montage, the bridge known as Pont Alexandre III is also in the final scene of the film. Gil has broken up with Inez and is wandering around the city when he bumps into Gabrielle again on Pont Alexandre III. It’s here he tells her he’s staying and Paris. He offers to walk her home just as the rain starts to fall. It’s a wonderful ending.

After leaving Les Invalides we made our way to Pont Alexandre III. The beautiful ornate bridge was a sight. Tourists were snapping photos and brides were having wedding pictures made. We walked under it and over it admiring the River Seine and the wonderful architecture of the bridge itself.

There are so many wonderful locations in the city of Paris and Woody Allen takes advantage of so many. We visited several other places that you can see in the movie and missed out on some as well. Looks like we already have our excuse to head back to what I believe may be the world’s greatest city.

“TO ROME WITH LOVE” – 2 STARS

I’ve never been a big Woody Allen fan. But my appreciation for his filmmaking grew with last year’s amazing “Midnight in Paris”, a fantastic film that was wonderfully written, genuinely funny, and purely magical. Allen’s European tour continue’s with “To Rome With Love” yet another romantic comedy taking place in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. “To Rome With Love” is a collage of individual stories about a number of different people and their relationships, their predicaments, and their quirks. It starts by capturing some of that same magic that made “Midnight in Paris” such a strong film but the second half of the movie runs off the rails and the result is an uneven and ultimately disappointing result.

The different unconnected stories battle for screen time and all start on the right track. In one, Haley (Allison Pill), an American tourist visiting Rome meets, falls in love with, and is soon engaged to a local hunk named Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti). After her parents fly over to meet his parents, her father (Woody Allen), who compares his recent retirement to a premature death, thinks his career is rejuvenated after discovering Michelangelo’s shower singing father (Fabio Armiliato). In another story, Roberto Benigni plays a mundane and predictable husband and father who suddenly becomes the object of immense fame and notoriety over nothing more than what type of underwear he wears and how he likes his toast.

In yet another story Alec Baldwin plays John, a middle-aged architect back in Rome visiting the neighborhood where he once lived as a young man. He bumps into Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), a young architect living in Rome with his girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig). Their relationship is strained when her best friend Monica (Ellen Paige) flies in to visit from the states. John follows Jack around everywhere sounding off warnings about his budding relationship with the flakey Monica. And then there are the reserved small-town newlyweds (Alessandro Tiberi and Alessandra Mastronardi) who arrive in Rome where the husband hopes to get a job from his wealthy family. Through several off-the-wall events, the two are separated in the city and each find their love for the other challenged by the people they meet including a  prostitute played by Penelope Cruz. This was easily the weakest story of the four.

These four storylines stay within their own individual walls and they never intersect with each other. As I mentioned they each start strong and Allen packs a lot of good laughs particularly the first half of the movie. At first I really thought Allen was doing something clever and crafty with the four stories. The film addresses an interesting array of issues and the characters are actually quite intriguing up to a point. But things begin to slowly turn sour and not only does Allen’s story fly wildly out of control but many of his characters become pretty pathetic individuals who depict the movie’s warped and cynical view of love, devotion, and relationships. Several of the characters are faced with sexual temptations and ultimately fall prey to them, some with almost no meaningful struggle of conscience. Other storylines become preposterous which is ok if you’re going somewhere with it. And while I definitely laughed at some of the over-the-top gags, keeping my loosely attached interest intact  hinged on the idea that Woody was doing more with these self-indulgent characters and outlandish situations than what we were seeing. As it turns out he really wasn’t.

As I’m sure you noticed, Allen still has a knack for attaching great talent to his productions. There’s not a bad performance in the entire film and the actors almost pull it off even when the material goes south. Woody Allen himself delivers some of the film’s biggest laughs while portraying the same neurotic and pessimistic character as in his other roles. Speaking of neurotic, but on a much smaller scale, I also really enjoyed Eisenberg’s performance as well. But the biggest star of the film may be the city of Rome itself. Allen truly has an affection for Rome and he goes to great lengths to show its history, beauty, and romantic charm. While Rome certainly doesn’t take on main character status as Paris did in “Midnight in Paris”, it’s still a key ingredient in giving the movie the romantic vibe its shooting for. In fact, for me the movie loses most of its sense of romance with the exception of the charming city that’s present in almost every scene. Even when I was growing detached from the stories, Allen’s camera would capture a location in Paris that sucked me back in.

“To Rome With Love” is truly a story of two halves. The first half of the movie was an absolute blast even though some of the four stories were more interesting than others. But in the second half of the movie I sat in the theater noticing that I hadn’t laughed in some time. As I slowly lost interest in the characters I began noticing that Allen really wasn’t going anywhere with the film. There’s no clever or memorable twist. It spits and sputters to its finale and by the end I was asking myself how Allen could have made two halves so totally different. I also wasn’t all that interested in Allen’s seemingly loose ideas of love, fidelity, and trustworthiness and in this case it hollowed out his characters with the exception of those in Haley and Michelangelo’s story. For some, the spectacular location and the number of funny moments will be enough to carry the picture. But for me it was terribly uneven and it ends up tearing down everything it itself creates. In fact, “To Rome With Love” feels like a film that needed another year of writing and production. The rushed results were nothing short of disappointing.

FIVE GREAT SCENES FROM “MIDNIGHT IN PARIS”

Ok, I’ve never been what you would call a Woody Allen fan. That being said, I can’t express how much I enjoy “Midnight in Paris. It’s a movie that features some great laughs and the best performance from a usually annoying Owen Wilson. It’s a romance film but not in the traditional sense. The true love of the movie is the city and it’s magic. It’s the city that brings Gil Pender (Wilson) to realize some very important things about himself and his life. It’s the city that Gil’s in love with and it’s the city that helps him get on the right path in life.

Now I know that one reason I responded so strongly to this movie was because of my current trip to Paris. As I sit here soaking up all this glorious place has to offer, I understand what Allen in conveying in his film. Paris is a city like no other. It’s living and breathing. It’s a place filled with history, style, and beauty, all things that “Midnight in Paris” presents. So my opinion of the movie is most certainly influenced by my expectations of what I’m now experiencing here in Paris, France.

But let’s not get bogged down in just that. “Midnight in Paris” is also laugh out loud hilarious. The characters are fantastic and for my money it features some of Woody Allen’s best writing. Filmed at various locations here in Paris (some we have already visited), Allen places his characters right in the middle of this city both past and present day. The performances are top-notch and the feeling of nostalgia is impossible to deny. It’s a beautiful film that I just love talking about.

So, before we head off to a local cafe and take a stroll in the Latin Quarter, I thought I would share five great scenes from this movie I love. Now, last Sunday I did a Phenomenal 5 on Paris movie scenes and #2 was the gorgeous opening montage of “Midnight in Paris”. Since I’ve already used it I’ll leave it out here. But it is an amazing opening sequence that I have watched over and over. These scenes I have picked are just samples of what makes this movie so good. Great laughs, great characters, great performances, great city!

 #1 – GIL MEETS THE FITZGERALDS

One of my favorite scenes in “Midnight in Paris” is where Gil meets Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald (played brilliantly by Alison Pill and Tom Hiddleston). After getting lost in the streets of Paris, Gil is picked up by an antique car which whisks him away to 1920’s Paris. He arrives at a bar where a party is going on and bumps into the Fitzgeralds. Gil’s confusion mixed with amazing portrayals from Hiddleston and Pill make this a hysterical scene. And even though it’s completely preposterous, the environment, the music, and the performances make this strikingly believable. Hiddleston alone makes this scene with his chipper expressions and hilarious line deliveries. I love it.

#2 – DEBATE AT THE RODIN MUSEUM

We all know people like Paul (Michael Sheen) from “Midnight in Paris”. He’s one of those who thinks he’s a lot smarter than he actually is. He’s an old friend of Gil’s fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and she is enamored by his immense knowledge of Paris and it’s history even though most of his “knowledge” is flat-out wrong. A great example of this is the scene in the gardens at the Rodin Museum. Paul, flexing his pseudo-intellectual muscle, actually argues with the museum tour guide regarding Rodin’s past relationships. Paul is clearly wrong, but you know guys like this, they’ll never be convinced of it. Sheen’s delivery is hilarious and Rodin himself couldn’t have convinced this know-it-all otherwise. *(Yes, I know this photo isn’t from the Rodin Museum scene but it perfectly captures the Paul character).

#3 – A CHAT WITH HEMINGWAY

Corey Stoll’s portrayal of Earnest Hemingway was absolutely phenomenal. We’re introduced to him after Gil leaves the above mentioned party with the Fitzgeralds in search of more lively entertainment. They enter a bar where Hemingway is sitting alone in the corner. We just stand there alongside Gil and watch as a hilarious conversation takes place between Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds. It’s clear that Zelda doesn’t like Earnest and she takes off. F. Scott soon follows leaving Gil to share a conversation about life and  writing with one of his literary idols. Stoll speaks like Hemingway wrote which adds an ever funnier element to their conversation. This is a key moment in the film that begins Gil’s new perspective on life. It’s also extremely funny.

#4 – A NIGHT WALK WITH ADRIANA

After several trips back in time, Gil finds himself mesmerized by the beautiful Adriana (Marion Cotillard). He finally gets some meaningful time alone with her as they share a romantic walk on a beautiful Paris night. The cool 1920’s feel mixed with the beauty of the city of lights is the perfect setting for the movie’s most romantic scene. Woody Allen also uses Gil to once again speak of the allure of the city. It makes you question who he’s attracted to more, Adriana or the city? This is such a wonderful scene that moves which such grace, all as the equally beautiful “Parlez-moi d’amour” plays in the background. Call me a sap but this is a great scene.

#5 –  PARIS IN THE RAIN

The movie ends with Gil walking alone in the Paris night. He’s broken it off with Inez and has realized his desire for the past was misguided and that every era has their own problems. Unsure of everything, he bumps into Gabrielle (Lea Seydoux) again on the beautiful Pont Alexandre III bridge. The two strike up a conversation and Gil tells her that he will be staying in Paris. There is an obvious attraction between them which is only solidified when a small rain shower pops up. The two walk off together enjoying the rain and the city. While Gil thought he once again had no direction in his life, Paris takes him by the hand and sets his course. What a great way to end the movie.

Well, that’s all for now. I have fountains, paintings, a buttered baguette, and a cozy cafe in my immediate future. What did you think of “Midnight in Paris”. Hopefully you liked it as much as I did. Please fell free to share your thoughts on it. And until I hit the states again…au revior.

5 PHENOMENAL MOVIE SCENES SET IN PARIS

Well, before I walk out of the door for our trip to Paris, France, I thought it would be cool to make my final pre-trip post tie in to our vacation. So how about we look at 5 phenomenal movie scenes set in Paris this week. Now there are some really great scenes that I left out but for good reason. I really wanted there to be variety in this list and I certainly think there is. I almost cheated simply because there are some scenes I HATE to leave out. But after much deliberating, here they are. Of course, as always this isn’t the definitive list. But there’s no denying that these 5 movie scenes set in Paris are absolutely phenomenal.

#5 – THE RUDE WAITER (“National Lampoon’s European Vacation”)

Ok, I freely admit that this isn’t a great film. In fact, a good argument could be made that the ending derails the entire picture. But I have to admit that I laughed a lot as the Griswold’s stumble their way through England, France, and Germany. But for me, the funniest moment is at a cafe near the Eiffel Tower where they encounter a rude but hilarious waiter. Clark’s horrible French mixed with the waiter’s condescending mockery is laugh out loud funny. This will never be considered a classic movie, but I do love this goofy scene.

#4 – CLOUSEAU’S STREET PATROL (“The Return of the Pink Panther”)

Sticking with comedies, how can you not love Peter Sellers as Jacques Clouseau in Blake Edwards’ Pink Panther movies. I swear these are the rare comedies that I can watch anytime and still laugh even though I know the gags by heart. In this particular scene, Clouseau’s incompetence has resulted in his demotion to a beat cop. But always dedicated (and always the buffoon) he comes up on a blind accordion player playing on the street as his monkey collects money from pedestrians. A hilarious conversation follows as Clouseau pesters the man for not having the proper license. Meanwhile a real crime happens right behind him which, of course, he’s oblivious to. It’s vintage Sellers and a truly funny scene.

#3 – THE CAFE DREAM SCENE (“Inception”)

One of my favorite movies of the last several years is Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”. This particular scene is set in a quite neighborhood in Paris at a small corner cafe. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it’s not. It’s all a dream as Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) gives Ariadne (Ellen Page) her first lesson in shared dreaming. The scene starts as a cozy conversation set in an even cozier corner of Paris. But Ariadne begins to panic giving us one of the coolest special effects sequences of the entire movie. Shot on location in south Paris, the scene is visually stunning and beautifully crafted. It’s definitely not your traditional pick for a Paris movie scene but I love it.

#2 – THE OPENING MONTAGE (“Midnight in Paris”)

Many of my movie friends know that I LOVE “Midnight in Paris”. Originally I had several scenes from the film that could have made this list. It was incredibly hard to narrow it down to one scene from such a fantastic movie about a fantastic city. But after thinking about the film and thinking about Paris, how could I not choose the opening 4 minute montage? The opening introduces Paris as a major character by showing it’s history, charm, and beauty. We see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the cafes, and more. It starts in the morning, takes us through an afternoon rain shower, before showing us the city of lights at night all as “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere” plays in the background. Could you find a better introduction to such a magnificent city.

#1 – WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS (“Casablanca”)

It’s fitting that the best Paris movie scene is also the most romantic movie scene of all time from my favorite movie of all time. Throughout the early parts of “Casablanca” it’s clear that Bogart’s Rick is a tough cookie. But his tough guy persona takes a big hit when he crosses paths with his old love Ilsa played by the gorgeous Ingrid Bergman. After the encounter, Rick drowns his sorrows while reflecting on memories of their romantic getaway to Paris. In the flashback we see the couple taking a drive down the Champs-Élysées. We see them enjoying a cruise on the Seine River. Then there’s the romantic night on the town topped by dancing and a kiss. It’s the perfect scene that not only gives us a look at their past relationship, but it also presents Paris as the link that will always connect them. I have no reservations about calling this the best movie scene set in Paris. “Here’s looking at you kid”.

And there they are? What are your thoughts on my picks. I know there are other great scenes that take place in the City of Lights. As my wife and I travel down the Seine River, please leave your comments and share your top 5 Paris movie scenes!