We'll Never Have Paris
Starring Simon Helberg, Melanie Lynskey, Maggie Grace, Alfred Molina, Jason Ritter,
Comedies at SXSW are really hit and miss for me. We’ll Never Have Paris is from the mind, and unfortunate the true story of actor, writer, director Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) and his wife and co-director Jocelyn Towne. Right off the bat I noticed that Helberg’s performance and the way the story is written is the emulation of Woody Allen. From the irony to the hypochondria, Helberg is a modern interpretation of a 30-something Allen, just with less insight into the world and those around him. Actors like indie queen Lynsky, Molina and Quinto certainly elevate the film as a reason to see it, and it really does have some truly funny moments.
Quinn (Helberg) has been with his girlfriend Devon (Lynsky) since high school, and she’s the only woman he has ever been with. He has had his mother’s wedding ready to propose for a while and dreamed of how he would do it since he was 3-years-old. Besides being a hypochondriac, Quinn just isn’t smooth when it comes to anything. His cold feet preempts him to ask for a break with Devon to experience things with other women, mainly his co-worker Kelsey (Grace). Her long legs and one-time modeling experience doesn’t keep his fascination when he realizes the depth to her character extends to the bottom of her Slurpee cup. Now he must try to win back the love of his life while making mistake after mistake.
Helberg is a modern interpretation of a 30-something Allen, just with less insight into the world and those around him.
“I feel like I am looking for the disease that will make me make sense,” he confesses to his best friend (Quinto). The sex scenes and clever things Helberg says are supposedly based on his real courtship with wife Towne. The consistent foot-in-mouth situations make for one of those comedies where the comedian continuously falls on his sword, never doing anything right. Also much like a typical Woody Allen character, Quinn never stops talking, which is clearly part of his problem.
One of my favorite scenes, because of writing, understanding and even editing, is when the camera dissects Kelsey through Quinn’s eyes as this disgusting bimbo figure that has no brains or understanding of how real people interact. Molina is not in the film enough because all the scenes with him as the father/optometrist are some of the best scenes. Quinto’s character also drops out near the end, which really starts to tire out as the same issues and mistakes Quinn has are repeated over and over. Jason Ritter has a scene and a half, but Towne explained that his inclusion in the film was due to their real friendship with him.
Wanna-be Woody Allen.