Despite some steamy sex and frontal nudity, male and female, “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 on the basis of its racy nature.
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 since returning 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, dominated by 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.
Almost everything here is derivative and secondhand, beginning with the Wim Wenders-derived title. 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 as well as attempting to change the stereotype of Canadians as conservative, depicting them as more eccentric and sex-minded than they usually have been portrayed.
For a while, the attractiveness 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.
The proficiency of the technical credits surpasses the quality of writing and direction of a feature film that would have worked much better at much shorter length.