A French New Wave director, Christophe Honore, has set his family film "Dans Paris" in the season of merriment, picking up where the early works of Francois Truffaut had left off, in a joyful andliberatory style. The story involves two brothers, the chronically depressed Paul (Romain Duris), and the younger Jonathan (Louis Garrel), the family goofball.
The film opens with Jonathan narrating to camera in a rather disarming way, and with a flashback of his moody brother Paul, who just got out of a spiteful relationship with his long-term girlfriend, Anna(Joana Preiss). He tries to obtain love by moving back to his surly divorced father's (Guy Marchand) flat. But the circumstances haven't helped Paul: he pretty much wanders around the house reflecting on an elder sister's suicide, still feeling the world seems to have collapsed.
Jonathan tries to lure him out of the city in the belief that they might get through the holidays if they are together. So he plants the idea in Paul that they go glance at the Christmas windows. When Paul refuses, Jonathan goes out on his own for an escapade with strings of women. Paul ends up in the bedroom, creating his own brand of humor through his little demented character.
Director Christophe has written a script with those two actors in mind, providing a heartwarming family drama that never gets too heavy with Paul's despair, and one that keeps dropping witty, non-pretentious dialogue throughout the film. There's a clear contrast represented by these brothers. In the end, we see that human emotions are at its core.
Written and directed by Christophe Honoré
Director of photography: Jean-Louis Vialard
Edited by Chantal Hymans
Music by Alex Beaupain
Released by IFC First Take.
Running time: 90 minutes.
This film is not rated.
Cast: Romain Duris (Paul)
Louis Garrel (Jonathan)
Guy Marchand (Mirko)
Joana Preiss (Anna)
Alice Butaud (Alice),
and Marie-France Pisier (the Mother).