Closing Edinburgh International Film Festival is the abysmally limp We’ll Never Have Paris. Attempting to capture the modern tragedy and harsh reality of love and romance, in a Woody Allen inspired way, We’ll Never Have Paris fails to impact. Quinn has grown far too comfortable in his ten year relationship. He is preparing to propose to Devon but instead finds himself setting out on a lustful romp with a co-worker. As Quinn attempts to work out what it is he really wants, his hurt girlfriend heads to France for space, healing and self discovery. When Quinn realises his error he heads to Paris in a dramatic and desperate attempt to win back his love. Tackling the problems with commitment and the challenges of loyalty, We’ll Never Have Paris gives us a completely despicable lead character whose selfish yearnings to “get it out of his system” only make us hate him more. There is no charm in Quinn’s selfishness and foolishness, something Allen often manages to capture. As the film comes to a close I found myself already forgetting about it. This forgettable and frightfully drab unromantic-comedy will be out of your system faster than Quinn’s urges are out of his. Clearly, We’ll Never Have Paris is meant to be unromantic. It is meant to be a cynical look at the love in the modern world but in order to make cynicism cinematically digestible it has to contain a certain amount of intelligence and direction.
In the case of We’ll Never Have Paris the problems are simple; the script isn’t funny enough, the characters aren’t developed enough and the audience just don’t care enough. Simon Helberg, known for his nerdy role in The Big Bang Theory, directs himself in the lead role, another Allen-esque move on the film’s behalf. His performance is misguided, struggling to bring emotion when necessary. Zachary Quinto’s talents are wasted in this film. Taking on the hopeless best friend role we look to Quinto’s character for comic relief, but find none. The rest of the cast are just as forgettable and remain unchallenged by the material they’ve been given. There is a chuckle or two to be had during We’ll Never Have Paris but not the big laughs that the film was trying to accomplish. It is a shame that such an underwhelming piece is closing what has been a really energetic and versatile festival programme. We’ll Never Have Paris attempts to highlight the romance we lose as the spark fades and our lives become monotonously intertwined with another’s but, with no real story or substance, this film falls flat on its face.
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