Ep 28: French Kiss

Can a movie that gets great in the second half make up for a weak start with an irritating heroine? Jenny says nay, Lucy says the payoff is worth it. Both agree that Kevin Kline makes a wonderful Frenchman, and everybody loves Jean Reno. Get the podcast: Listen here at PopD | Go to iTunes

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: 4 Pops ~ Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 3, Comedy: 4, Romance: 5

Jenny says: 3 Pops ~ Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 3, Comedy: 3, Romance: 3

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

PopD Community Chat Transcript

Movie Info:

Release date: May 5, 1995 Director: Lawrence Kasdan Writers: Adam Brooks. More info at IMDb.

11 responses to “Ep 28: French Kiss”

  1. Much as I love Meg Ryan I do think her interpretation and direction in this role are problematic. I do think part of the problem is that I think her “towering” is meant to be funny along the lines of a farce. Just out there on the edge, so they’re playing that.

    And some of that may be the script. But I think of how different actresses might have played the role – and it could all be done very differently. If, for instance, it was remade today, you could have say… Kate Winslet in the role and I have a feeling it would a lot different. Or Drew Barrymore if you still want da cute.

  2. I think the choices she made early on were different from the choices she made later, and the latter choices were much more realistic. She was pure ham for the first part of the movie. But I think the movie was written that way, too, so the script encouraged mugging and overacting.
    You know, this is really the Moonstruck plot: woman sets sights on wrong man and must learn to accept the right guy even though he’s not what she was planning on. That plot gets used a lot, and one of the reasons I like this one is that it isn’t Luc trying to convince her to love him, they’re both on their own quests and fall in love because they work together. I LOVE that plot. I just didn’t like her.

  3. Yeah, but Cher never made me want to slap her face and cry “Snap out of it.” Meg Ryan had this nails-on-chalkboard delivery at times:

    I don’t care, I don’t care…
    what’s happening, what’s happening…

    If she stuck to imitating Kevin Kline talking about ass twitching, she would’ve been much less irritating. Timothy Hutton’s character was irritating too. Really, they were well matched. Except they probably would’ve gone on to have doubly irritating children.

  4. I loved Luc. Kevin Kline is one of my favorite actors ever. (I’d love to see a PopD on In & Out, by the way.)

    I couldn’t handle Meg Ryan. Yes, the script enabled her hamming it up with the flailing cuteness, but she’s a repeat offender when it comes to that. I’ve gotten to the point where it feels like movies where I can tolerate her are the movies where the director made her hold back.

    I remember watching this ages ago and loving Luc and the romance, but this time I just couldn’t get past Ryan’s acting enough to get to where it got good. I actively disliked her character, her goals, her behavior…everyone else I could get on board with. Just not her. I ended up giving it a 2, because even if one of the main characters is amazing, there has to be a reason to want them together for it to work. I felt like wishing them together was wishing ill for Luc. *sigh*

  5. Oh! Forgot to say that this movie made me want to go and rewatch Only You. It’s been ages since I’ve seen that one, too, so I’m hoping it holds up.

  6. I think I first saw this when I was about 12, so I have a certain attachment to it from that time. I still enjoyed it, and I love Luc. I did have issues with Kate this time around that I didn’t have before, but it’s been a long time since I saw it. I really love the romance in this, the way are with each other, and the scenes with them are so good, especially in the second half, that I’m willing to forgive the flaws for the most part. It will never be one of my favorites, but I still like it.

    Oh, Only You is so much fun. Everyone is kind of nuts, but that’s why I love them.

  7. Meg Ryan was playing Meg Ryan, just like Tom Cruise plays Tom Cruise. It’s annoying. They don’t really get into character well because they’re too busy posing and asking don’t I look adorable. Is that too cynical of me? ha ha. Anyway I wanted to smack her, but yet I liked the movie for other reasons. I loved Luc. I loved the scenery. I adored the time at the vineyards, and some of the dialogue.

    Enjoyed reading the comments from the movie watching.

  8. You know, being fascinated by the protagonist, needing to see him or her solve the problem, is so crucial to story that if you have an irritating heroine, it’s pretty much all over. The fact that she becomes wonderful in the second half is no good if nobody ever gets there.

  9. Meg Ryan’s character was so annoying it did not matter what she did. Too bad it wasn’t his movie because he had great lines and character arc. The ending was a bit forced because of the book ending with the plane. Second time watching and probably would not watch it again, remember not liking it the first time. Sorry Lucy. Loved Kevin Kline.

  10. Whenever I right click “Listen Here…” to save the file shows up as a JPEG.

    As for Meg Ryan in this movie, I think she can never live down Sally. All roles are in comparison to how much we liked her in that movie. She was pretty much a control freak in that one too.