WRITTEN BY: Sophie Lellouche
DIRECTED BY: Sophie Lellouche
STARRING: Alice Taglioni, Patrick Bruel, Marine Delterme, Michel Aumont
RATING: 2.5 stars

There are a lot of things to like about the French romantic comedy Paris-Manhattan. There are some very funny moments, outrageous ideas and quirky fun. Unfortunately, all those small nuggets of entertainment don't come together in a cohesive story. While the film is only about 80 minutes long, it felt like it was dragging on in parts. There simply wasn't enough to the plot. Debut writer/director Sophie Lellouche has made an ambitious effort, and while the film is quite good, it's not good enough.

Alice (Alice Taglioni) is an pharmacist in her 30's whose choices in life and love are influenced entirely by her favourite filmmaker, Woody Allen. When her family sets her up with Victor (Patrick Bruel) they hope he will help her get over her obsession, but getting Alice to grow up and face reality proves harder than any of them thought.

It seems like Lellouche has tried to write a story like Allen would. Perhaps that is where she has gone wrong. She tries to infuse intellectual philosophies into the film through the protagonists, but doesn't do it as effortlessly or convincingly as Allen. Having said that, there are some entertaining references to Allen's films that fans of his work will enjoy and some good laughs in several memorable comedic scenes. The cinematography is also enjoyable. It captures "real" France as opposed to a typical tourist postcard. It's still beautiful, but it's not full of Paris highlights as you would often see to entice international viewers to a French film.

Taglioni is a good leading lady. She's gorgeous but also believably dorky in some ways. The role suits her. Bruel is perhaps a little too old to play his character but he is charming in a very French sort of way. They are supported by Alice's sister played by Marine Delterme whose character is full of surprises, and Michel Aumont who plays Alice's father. The veteran actor is hilarious in this film.

If you do see this film at the cinema, make sure you stay awake for the final act - there's a very good cameo.