Lost in Paris (Paris pieds nus)

Have you tried Henri Krishna?

I finally nailed this one down – Lost in Paris is a silent film that isn’t silent. You can understand my prolonged confusion, yes? I’d have to go back, fittingly, to Mel BrooksSilent Movie to find a film that relied so heavily on sight gags. No matter. I haven’t seen decent slapstick in years. Bring it on.

Fiona (Fiona Gordon) lives in the part of Canada so north that global warming is welcomed with heavily layered arms. Adult Fiona is introduced to us with a sight gag involving a standard reaction to the snowstorm that attacks every open door. Her Parisian aunt needs Fiona to fend off the assisted living vultures currently a-haunting. So Fiona heads to Paris, but her rescue mission won’t be easy. For one thing, Fiona is a middle-aged woman who constantly moves as if she just got a back brace removed. Also, she’s chosen to travel with a comically large sized backpack that gets stuck in every turnstile. Her French is as weak as her knowledge of Paris and she clearly has no rapport with her batty aunt Martha (the late Emmanuelle Riva). It takes about an hour in Paris for Fiona to get dumped in the Seine and lose her passport, cell phone, clothing, and wallet in the process.

I’d say she lost her dignity, too, but that clearly isn’t the case. Olive Oyl was drawn with more dignity than Fiona.

Dom (Dominique Abel, gee, Dom and Fiona, how long did you spend coming up with these names?  Oh, and Dominique Abel — best imdb index photo ever!) isn’t exactly homeless. He has a home. It’s a small tent next to the Paris Statue of Liberty. I don’t believe the French actually allow permanent campers outside their monuments, but I’m also taking for granted that Olive Oyl just got dumped in the Seine. You just have to love the move where the penniless vagrant scours the posted public menu of a restaurant before deciding to dumpster dive. After all, Miss, this is France, and a (second-hand) dinner here is never second best.  It’s only a matter of time before Fiona and Dom meet, especially as he’s found her possessions.

Their inevitable becomes my very favorite meet-cute of the year – an impromptu extremely well-choreographed dance in the middle of a floating dining boat. This is a small film. We know it. It was written, directed, and acted by two middle-aged people no one would confuse with movie stars. I’m sure this was a labor of love and probably one that bankrupted a loved one or two. And it’s kind of adorable. There isn’t anything here about escaping a curse or breaking a code or stopping some sort of cataclysmic disaster. There are just two or three goofy people having fun on film. I can’t wait to see Dunkirk, but I live for films like this. For every small film like this that gets it right, there are about two dozen that get it wrong, hence, yay Dunkirk.

I started this blog in 2011 and this is already the sixth film with Paris in the title – if you can even name two of the others, you’re likely a movie savant. Is that more than all the other title cities on my blog combined? Could be. And between you and me … I’ve been to Paris twice. I prefer Helsinki. I don’t know where I’m going with this other than … why Paris? Sure, London Has Fallen, so maybe we go To Rome with Love. I’m tellin’ y’all, Forget Paris. Paris Can Wait. I’m choosing to go well beyond and advertising. You know what? I’m Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Any takers?

Tis the story of Fiona and Dom
Who ignited a Parisian love bomb
Their hoofing abundance
Avoided redundance
It’s like an extended roam-com

Not Rated, 83 Minutes
D: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon
W: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon
Genre: Goofiness
Type of person most likely to enjoy this film: Fans of silent movies
Type of person least likely to enjoy this film: Strict progressives

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