Lost in Paris (2016)
Dir.: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon; Cast: Fiona Gordon, Dominique Abel, Emmanuelle Riva, Pierre Richard; France/Belgium 2016
Belgium born Vaudeville artist Dominique Abel and his real-life wife Australian Fiona Gordon attempt to bring the world of the MusicHal back to life with moderate success in the quirky LOST IN PARIS. As in Rumba and Iceberg, music once again plays a major role as do Abel and Gordon, who co-write the script.
The film centres on Canadian librarian Fiona (Gordon) who lives in a snowbound kitsch village whence she hops on a plane to Paris to help her ageing mother in distress. Unfortunately, Aunt Martha, who is losing it a bit, is not at home when Fiona arrives so she decides to hit the town and enjoys herself, somehow landing up in the river Seine. She also manages to lose her luggage, which is later found by wayfarer Dom (Abel), who lives in a tent of the river’s edge. He helps himself to her money and even steals her jumper, which actually suits him. As you may have guessed, Dom and Fiona were fated to meet one other; forget about Aunt Martha, whose fake funeral they are attending, she’s actually very much alive and mischievous into the bargain.
Abel and Gordon’s films are very much an acquired taste, and not everyone learns to love their gags, which feature a very tall and slim Gordon, and a Ronnie Baker like Abel. But the main issue here is their scripting: there’s not enough interest to sustain the audience even for 90 minutes, because the episodic structure runs soon out of steam, leaving with long stretches of nothing between the gags. But the great, late Emmanuelle Riva is obviously enjoying herself, and for that alone (and a short appearance of veteran comic Pierre Richard on a park bench), LOST IN PARIS is worth watching.