French Kiss is one of those travelogues where flipping through the pictures would be more fun than actually taking the trip.
Meg Ryan (who also co-produced through her Prufrock Pictures) and Kevin Kline generally outshine the material in this wispy and somewhat anachronistic romance, which has Ryan’s high-strung Kate overcoming her fear of flying and winging to Paris to recapture her fiance (Timothy Hutton) after he dumps her for another woman.
Kate hooks up on the plane with Luc (Kline), an oily French thief who plants one of his prized possessions in Kate’s purse. When that bag gets stolen, the two are forced into a cross-country journey that’s both postcard-pretty and somewhat aimless, with a shortage of laughs between the promising start and predictable finale.
For starters, the script by Adam Brooks waffles between the romantic quadrangle (the last side being Hutton’s stunning new flame, played by French actress Susan Anbeh) and Luc’s apparent thievery, with a genial cop (Jean Reno) in not-so-hot pursuit.
This is the fifth collaboration between Kasdan and Kline, and the latter clearly has a good time creating this suave if smarmy character. For Ryan, Kate represents merely the latest and probably least appealing in a string of persnickety romantic dreamers, though on the plus side Ryan does provide a few disarmingly funny scenes of broad physical comedy. Hutton has little to do as her wayward beau.