In the full flush of young love, Nick (played by Jim Broadbent) and Meg (by Lindsay Duncan) spend a wonderful honeymoon in Paris. They delight at everything – the food, the life and the passion of their blossoming marriage. Now – three decades later, Nick and Meg’s family are adult-age with their own lives and Nick, a University Professor, has recently had to retire. Their English lives have become a dreary routine and they find themselves pining for those earlier heady days of romance and “devil may care” abandonment. They’ve come to Paris to find all that again and hopefully rejuvenate their flailing marriage. Nick tries hard, but can’t help being “himself” – a constant source of irritation these days for Meg. They bump into Morgan (by Jeff Goldblum) one of Nick’s past academic friends who now lives in Paris, which creates at least a distraction for them, if nothing else. These few days spent in Paris promise much – but will they deliver?
I spend most of this film wondering whether it’s supposed to be funny or sad. It’s one of those movies where nobody is ever happy – even though it’s supposed to be a comedy (I think). However, there are some wonderful performances here – Jeff Goldblum is at his irritatingly pretentious best as Morgan; Lindsay Duncan is a natural as the frustrated and bored Meg who would do just about anything for some excitement in her life; and Jim Broadbent is as dependable as ever as the well-intentioned, but constantly bewildered Nick. He hasn’t got a clue how to appease his Meg and all he wants is a happy life. This collection of great actors with masterful direction by Roger Michell create a very watchable movie and Paris as the backdrop just can’t do a thing wrong really. Perhaps people of other generations will see other things here and that is part of the charm of this movie – it will appeal to a broad audience with the range of delights it offers. Parts of the drama are quite poignant and may hit home for couples who have experienced a similar situation. On the whole it is a nice, but not outstanding movie. At the British Independent Film Awards (2013), Lindsay Duncan was awarded Best Actress for her performance and Jim Broadbent won a Silver Seashell Best Actor award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival (2013) for his work here also.
Made in 2014. Directed by Roger Michell