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Friday, 15 February 2019

Retro Review: French Kiss (1995)

French Kiss
Cast: Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline, Timothy Hutton, Jean Reno, Francois Cluzet, Susan Anbeh
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Worldwide Box Office: over $101 million

Plot: A woman flies to France to confront her straying fiance, but gets into trouble when the charming crook seated next to her uses her for smuggling

'A Kiss That Went Amiss'

Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline sound like a prosperous acquisition, but their onscreen duality and partnership is gone to waste in this snail-paced and surprisingly drab & too typically run-of-the-mill rom-com. After a good start, it goes downhill and the story sags, thus leaving no discernible impression. It's light, at times frothy but no sooner does an air of tepidness starts to creep in, thus leaving no room for the film to come to life, and with that, French Kiss shows signs of weariness and becomes monotonous. 

An American woman going by the name of Kate is in search of her fiance with the help of tobacco smoking Frenchman, who has plans of his own regarding Kate. There are 1 or 2 bombshells, which really won't surprise anyone who watches this film. And with that and Luc and Kate's partnership develops from what was love and hate, to platonic & eventually falling for one another. 

The biggest problem is that it tries to be two different films at once: a romantic comedy and a Meg Ryan one, and whilst it sort of plays to her onscreen appeal, unlike Sleepless in Seattle, the romantic pairing of herself and Kevin Kline (with a Super Mario-like moustache and in a role that was originally going to Gerard Depardieu) doesn't seem to gel, nor sync as well as that of Tom Hanks. Not even Meg Ryan's charm can save it from what is mostly mundane and the comedy fell flat. Kline puts on his best Frenchman impression, and it is not bad, yet unfortunately, the material let the cast down and it should have been a whole lot more entertaining, engaging and watchable. 

It just never manages to get going, nor engages the viewer considerably enough to fully buy into the characters and their motivations into doing what they do, and saying what they think and feel. 

Final Verdict:

Much like with Forget Paris, It felt to me like one of those types of romantic comedy films whereby the people involved just did it, not because they are passionate about them and the concepts - but they did it just to get it over and done with. Its sluggish pacing and flatly conceived story made this a sheer slog to get through.

Contrary to many other romantic comedies, French Kiss isn't awful - just bland. 


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