I caught a flick today (actually yesterday and today, divided among the folding of about 12 loads of laundry). Knowing very little about the movie “Paris 36”, which was in fact in French with English subtitles, I had little expectation on selecting it from our “On-Demand” list, except a slight hope of seeing a bit of Europe circa 1930’s, and the hopes of not having images burned into my retinas that keep me up at night, since it was rated a modernly mild PG-13.
During a pre-war era of Paris, a theatre strives to produce a hit variety show and is over-run by a mob of ganster-types (a milder version of the “Godfather” clan, thankfully). The characters lives evolve and eclipse in the theater where they are all employed as actors, singers, techs and producers. Some are married, some are in love and many discover through a series of mistakes, the darker side of themselves. The most endearing story line for me was the producer’s son, JoJo, who makes a small living at playing the accordion on the street and protecting his father from a few harsh truths. Many characters come full-circle with warmer hearts (having learned harsh lessons) with a greater love for the theater and each other.
There is a small bit of violence, necessary to the story line, and of course, being Paris–lots of AMORE, most of which is tastefully implied, rather than explicitly shown. The actors were unfamiliar to me being a French movie, but the main singer “Douce”, was remarkably adorable and “Pigoil” (JoJo’s Dad) was played so well, I was completely convinced they took this guy from back stage and made him act.
I wouldn’t feel comfortable watching this moving with any of my children, so I recommend a date night (plenty of guy-stuff for the hubbies) and a glass of wine….perhaps a Beaujolais and some cheese?